“I tried to look up how many presidents have been grandfathers while serving in office. It’s pretty hard to look up because no one in the history of presidents has ever cared about whether or not they have grandchildren or will ever have grandchildren because it is truly one of the dumbest things to care about in the universe.”— New Republic
Everyone loves a good scandal. And in Great a contemporary retelling of The Great Gatsby, author and award winning comedian SARA BENINCASA delivers the story of a teenage girl who becomes entangled in the romance and drama of a lavish East Hampton social circle and is implicated in a scandal that shakes the posh summer community. With secrets, deception, and conspiracies abound Great will take teen readers to a world of luxury and decadence where nothing is truly what it seems to be from the outside. Beginning at 5pm, SARA BENINCASA will present her new novel, answer questions from fans, and sign copies of her new book! Light refreshments will be served. Ages 12-16. Wednesday, April 16th, 5-7pm.
Oh boy oh boy oh boy! Who wants to come with me and take pictures of each other holding this beautiful lady over our faces?
Holy shit, babe, you almost never do and you almost never stick with it.
It’s a big ole bumblefuck of “this is what I love” and “this is how I survive” and you find the most middle ground possible and see how these ebb and flow almost constantly. To live life, though, I suggest always taking detours, learning to say no, realizing things will always change, and trying to keep your “things you love” level as balanced as possible with your survival.
Find out who you ARE, first, and find out how much you can take and it’s the best running start you’ll have.
And uh, remember: it’s a balance of “it’s never too late” and “your time here is so short”, but you can probably always open new doors if you notice they are there.
… was when Rachel’s mom opened the door for Elijah and Sandy marched straight out of the apartment saying bye-bye. We had to wait while she gave the elevator a lecture and experimented widely with the sound of her voice in the echo of the building’s hallway.
My favorite part was when my mom dropped a blueberry and my dad saw it rolling by out of the corner of his eye and, with the instincts of a man who has lived in New York City apartments for 66 years, stomped on it like it was a roach.
First you’re taught to fear a phantom, a man in black, a man with a knife, a man who’ll pounce in dark alleys. Well-intentioned women—mothers, aunts, teachers—will train you to protect yourself: Don’t wear your hair in a ponytail; it’s easier to grab. Hold your keys in one hand; hold your pepper spray in the other. Avoid dark alleys. When you reach young adulthood, the lessons change. They acquire an undertone of disgust: Don’t drink so much. Don’t wear such short skirts. You’re sending mixed signals; you’re putting yourself at risk.
If you follow the advice and it never happens—if you end up one of the three out of four—you can convince yourself that safety is a product of your own making, a reflection of inherent goodness. But if you’re paying attention, you realize something doesn’t add up. Because it keeps happening: to your sisters; to your friends; to little girls and grown women you’ll never meet, in places like Cleveland, Texas; Steubenville, Ohio; New Delhi. Good people, bad people, neutral. It keeps happening in TV shows and novels and movies—they open on the missing girl, the dead girl, the raped girl. If you’re paying attention, you begin to realize that it isn’t happening. It is being done. And you are not safe. You have never been safe. You were born with a bulls-eye on your back. All you have ever been is lucky.
Cara Hoffman’s 2011 novel So Much Pretty opens on the dead girl. Her name is Wendy White; she’s been missing for five months, and within the first fifty pages we learn that her body “was put to use for months before being found.” In another book, my heart would sink, reading those words. Among many other things, I’m tired of the way this story is told in fiction: from the point of view of the male detective, grizzled and weary, shaking his head over some beautiful broken body. The man represents cynicism; the body, innocence. By the end, his jaded worldview will be confirmed, or he will be saved—either way, he’ll need to see the body. I’ve read enough of this genre to know I’m tired of it. I’m tired of the way it puts women’s bodies to use, as footnotes. The dead girl is the beginning of the man’s story. Being dead, hers has ended before page one.
Happily, the novel is now being reissued for the first time since then, in a new edition. I’m quite proud of it; it’s about a group of college girls who are known as “the death girls” on the Swarthmore campus, because they are really into the work and lives of certain women writers (Plath, Sexton, and a third writer I invented) who committed suicide. It’s about the romanticization of despair, and I guess it’s about growing up.
This is probably my favorite episode yet! First some chit chat about when “slogging through” parts of books is worth it, then a fantastic short story about a broke pot grower internet boyfriend with a flaccid dick at a Buddhist hot springs, then Leslie Fucking Jamison, newly minted New York Times Bestseller!