Thursday, June 16, 2016

bitches gotta read: shrill.

look at the four shining stars +1 absolute dummy lindy west got blurbs from for her incredible new book. when she asked me if i'd be willing to do it i screamed bitch are you nuts of course i will and read the entire pdf she sent me in a matter of hours, then immediately emailed my editor like "LOL I QUIT MY BOOK GOODBYE." seriously, i put my ipad down after i finished the first essay and thought long and hard about whether or not breaching my contract was something i could afford to do because how can i put out this trash i'm writing with a book like hers coming out this year. luvvie ajayi, kiese laymon, and roxane gay all have new books coming out in 2016, too. and i love these dudes: they are all magical, they are all extremely talented, and they are all very dear friends. wow o wow that's intimidating company.

so i read the collection but then had no idea what to say about it because really, who cares what i think about anything. especially when it comes to smart things. and if you do care, i'm much more of an expert on hot dog varietals and squeezy cheez than i am classic works of literature. any question other than "who has the hottest butt?" posed to me gets answered with a blank, unblinking stare. whenever i am asked to contribute words to a thing my auto-reply is "LOL DID YOU FORGET I DON'T KNOW ANYTHING" and then refuse to open the subsequent emails. i sent my blurb to lindy (hey girl, can i really write "jealous-ass feelings" in an actual book more than fourteen people are going to see?) and waited for a polite response telling me thanks but no thanks. when i heard nothing back from the publisher i poured out a little vodka soda in honor of our brief friendship and cursed myself for not paying more attention in that literary criticism course i dropped out of in 1998. months later when my advanced copy showed up in the mail i flipped it over and died on the spot. MY GHOST IS WRITING THIS.

the rules

1 we are never going to meet in person. that would require a bra and zippered pants and probably an expensive uber and no one is doing that that. you don't have to worry about robin's dairy allergy or that elena doesn't like malbec. no cleaning the cat box or vacuuming the drapes or hiding the dirty laundry in the oven so your company doesn't realize what a huge slob you are. just you in your house glasses and gravy pants sobbing into your six pack of beer, the way john green intended. getting together with people you don't live next door to is hella stressful. plus, a bunch of old bitches sitting around talking about fictional teenage romance is lame. OR IS IT THO.
2 we are never going to discuss this, ever. i mean seriously. i'm going to derive pleasure from knowing that people i might possibly enjoy spending time with if i ever could bring myself to meet new people and i are falling asleep and drooling on the same book we'll probably never finish. maybe we'll talk about it on twitter or something. but even thinking about organizing that is a daunting task and i'm already exhausted. mariyam suggested making a facebook group, but is that dumb? the internet is so hard sometimes. (ETA: there is a group! it's called bitches gotta read! and it is full of rad people who aren't irritating! come find us!)
3 we are never going to shame each other about not reading the fucking book. this is the beauty of never having to meet or talk about it: i ain't gotta come up with "thoughtful questions" and you ain't gotta pretend to remember what happened at the end of chapter seven while a bunch of wine-drunk bitches you don't even like that much wait expectantly for your answer. i'll read the books for sure, but that's only in case i run into one of you at the bagel shop and you decide to ask how much the ending moved me.

brief internet synopsis:

West has rocked readers in work published everywhere from The Guardian to GQ to This American Life. She is a catalyst for a national conversation in a world where not all stories are created equal and not every body is treated with equal respect. SHRILL is comprised of a series of essays that bravely shares her life, including her transition from quiet to feminist-out-loud, coming of age in a popular culture that is hostile to women (especially fat, funny women) and how keeping quiet is not an option for any of us.

ugh dude i was so jealous reading this book. i'm never too proud to admit that reading someone else's brilliant writing makes me push my laptop aside like "not today, satan" before hurling myself out of the window face-first into the shattered glass in the alley below. and shrill is a collection of essays, not young adult fiction, but listen: we are mature and open enough to handle a little variety. also how can i get you to buy a book with my stupid name on the back if i'm not allowed to assign it to the group. i only have 37 people in my phone, man. it's not like i can text you dudes to get the word out. anyway, lindy gets a lot of unnecessary heat for having the audacity to be loud and honest and push back at her critics but goddamn is she smart and so hilarious. we talked a lot while working on our books, so i got some rare insight into her creative process, and we hung out a couple times IRL and she is as dope as you think she is. needless to say, I LOVE SHRILL SO MUCH. and my dumb book is pushed back to spring 2017 because i'm not a total idiot.