This Ain’t Joan Didion’s Sacramento (And It Never Was)

Is there a chance that California’s capital is crying out in some way for its dead daughter? The only so-called “high-value star” of its show? Is that why the town—usually referenced solely as a footnote to where Didion is from—is now only being mentioned on an international scale for serving as the site of a second mass shooting in the span of a month? It’s … Continue reading This Ain’t Joan Didion’s Sacramento (And It Never Was)

The Literary Nods of 10 Things I Hate About You

Long before Olivia (Sydney Sweeney) and Paula (Brittany O’Grady) from The White Lotus were flaunting their book covers, we had Katarina Stratford (Julia Stiles), the “tempestuous” lead character in 10 Things I Hate About You. And, being that the movie was an adaptation of William Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew, it’s only fitting that there should be plenty of literary nods throughout. Including the fact that Kat herself is … Continue reading The Literary Nods of 10 Things I Hate About You

The Parallels Between The Final Girl Support Group and Scream

It was already quite noticeable that Scream was a major influence for Grady Hendrix in the writing of The Final Girl Support Group, with one of its final girls, Julia, having been attacked by a killer called the Ghost. Deliberately very similar to the Scream villain (ever-rotating beneath the mask, depending on what installment you’re in), Ghostface. Confirmed by Lynnette Tarkington’s (the narrator) description, “He wore black robes and a Halloween … Continue reading The Parallels Between The Final Girl Support Group and Scream

Is It the End or the Beginning of California Literature Now?

East Coastians would likely balk at the term “California literature” as being an oxymoron. And yet, that’s precisely what Joan Didion carved out for herself as a genre. Yes, there were others who had written about California before her—John Steinbeck and Nathanael West come to mind (even Raymond Chandler, for the less hoity-toity)—and all just as negatively through the guise of “poetic darkness.” But none … Continue reading Is It the End or the Beginning of California Literature Now?

“Is That the Blue You’re Using?”: Eve Babitz and the Undermining of the “Didion Approach” to California

There aren’t many authors left whose long-awaited work you can continue to yearn for while they promise that “maybe” “one day” it will come. All of these types of writers hailed from the twentieth century (including J. D. Salinger, half-taunting his readers with the prospect of releasing his next Glass family saga every so often before finally kicking the bucket). Whereas a writer trying to … Continue reading “Is That the Blue You’re Using?”: Eve Babitz and the Undermining of the “Didion Approach” to California

The Bitch Who Stole Christmas Shades Print Magazines, While Also Showing Reverence for Them as They Exist in the Hallmark Version of the Present

While there are so many unexpected aspects of The Bitch Who Stole Christmas–namely, that it exists at all–maybe the most unexpected is what a quiet (if not eviscerating) champion it is for print magazines. All, of course, while mocking the shit out of how antiquated it is to even try to run one. As a writer for Gorge Magazine (ah yes, always the innuendo with … Continue reading The Bitch Who Stole Christmas Shades Print Magazines, While Also Showing Reverence for Them as They Exist in the Hallmark Version of the Present

How a Women’s Magazine Fortified the Myth of Thanksgiving and Its Absurd Menu

“He who loves not his country, can love nothing.” This quote from Lord Byron is how Sarah J. Hale, perhaps known more in the present for penning “Mary Had a Little Lamb” than being the “Mother of Thanksgiving,” commences Northwood: A Tale of New England, Vol. 1. Lord Byron’s words are a strong indication of just how much Hale was responsible for the white-washing of Thanksgiving under … Continue reading How a Women’s Magazine Fortified the Myth of Thanksgiving and Its Absurd Menu

“Try to make it sound like you wrote it that way on purpose”: The French Dispatch is a Bittersweet Reminder of the Bygone Era That Fortified Writers Through Literary Magazines

Edgar Wright might be of the belief that the notion of there being “better days” is a fallacy, but that really doesn’t seem to be true when it comes to literary magazines. An enterprise that long ago achieved its heyday, never to really do so again. For it is a decidedly antiquated medium that is difficult to make “sexy” to anyone except pretentious East Coast … Continue reading “Try to make it sound like you wrote it that way on purpose”: The French Dispatch is a Bittersweet Reminder of the Bygone Era That Fortified Writers Through Literary Magazines

Irony Overload: Grimes Reading The Communist Manifesto

People do all sorts of things to cope after a breakup. Get drunk, take drugs, have sex with random strangers—anything to numb the pain and forget about the ex in question, even just for a little while. But one coping mechanism that few engage in (except in a highly specific scenario such as Grimes’) is the decision to read The Communist Manifesto. Or “read” it, more accurately. Obviously … Continue reading Irony Overload: Grimes Reading The Communist Manifesto

Valeria’s Self-Publishing Journey Is the Type of Schlock That Encourages Naïve Dreams of Author Grandeur

There are all of about three truly “noteworthy” and “recent” self-publishing success stories: Legally Blonde, Fifty Shades of Grey and Diary of an Oxygen Thief (each book being decidedly diverse in content). There have been others, of course, even from the more “old school” authors, like Proust, Woolf, Austen and Hawthorne. And their work was perhaps more “viral” at the time precisely because we didn’t then use terms like “viral” … Continue reading Valeria’s Self-Publishing Journey Is the Type of Schlock That Encourages Naïve Dreams of Author Grandeur