My father told me during my rebellious teenage years, “Just please go to college.” After a few scrapes with boys and drugs and sex, I did. I went to UCLA and studied English, where I was introduced to Jean Rhys, the Caribbean-British writer whose turbulent life was filled with lovers and failed marriages, alcoholism and poverty, trips across the continent and even a stint at Holloway Prison.
As a junior I read Good Morning Midnight, a 1938 novel in which an aging beauty named Sasha wanders Paris after an attempted suicide in a London hotel room. In one scene, she daydreams:
Perhaps one day I’ll live again around the corner [...]
"Starting Thursday, VF Daily can exclusively reveal, bags and cups in Chipotle’s stores will be adorned with original text by [Jonathan Safran] Foer, Malcolm Gladwell, Toni Morrison, George Saunders, and Vanity Fair contributing editor Michael Lewis… 'I selected the writers, and insofar as there was any editing, I did it,' Foer said. 'I tried to put together a somewhat eclectic group, in terms of styles. I wanted some that were essayistic, some fiction, some things that were funny, and somewhat thought provoking.'" -VanityFair.com
Some additional suggestions for Foer's consideration below.
“Milton, bro? Milton. Fuckin’—that was the end of it. Motherfucker’s 57 or whatever, blind, dictating it to his fucking daughter-nurse—Paradise Lost? I mean, I just couldn’t… That poem fucking killed me. Satan? That character was un-fucking-believable. I could taste him in my mouth, dude, reading that. I really, really, for some reason, connected with that poem.”
Bradley Cooper is on the cover of GQ this month. Does this bit make you more or less attracted to him? I honestly can't tell. Maybe if he'd said it in French? [GQ]
Thanks to my friend Emily, I've just discovered Romance By You, a service that allows you to insert your name, love interest's name, and sundry personal details into a romance novel. I've spent all day putting everyone's names I can think of into bodice-rippers about werewolves, detectives, werewolf detectives, pirates, vampires, ER doctors, and medieval knights.
Here's how it works, at least for the free excerpts: You're prompted to enter the heroine's name, hair color, eye color, sometimes the name of a female friend or pet, the hero's name, and sometimes his hair or eye color or build. Then it provides you with something like this:
Huxley sighed. [...]