It's always the same whenever we're at a party and I introduce Jen or Elizabeth as my Cupcake partners-in-crime. People are at first curious: What kind of reading series for women writers? And then disbelieving: Oh, it can't really be that bad. And I never really know what to say (Elizabeth always does, but you already know that from the blog).

Last night, I was reading The Royal Tenenbaums screenplay, and I found the perfect laugh-out-loud example of a perfectly illustrative scenario, as in, "I could totally hear some boy-wonder-literary-sensation saying this on NPR [whereas, a woman writer would likely have a more difficult time passing off lofty idiocy as force-of-nature talent.]"


Eli stands at a podium reading from a book to a crowded audience...his voice is quietly dramatic.


The crickets and the rust-beetles scuttled among the nettles of the sagethicket. Vamanos, amigos, he whispered, and threw the busted leather flintcraw over the loose weave of the saddlecock. And they rode on in the friscalating dusklight.

Eli looks up. He closes the book. The audience applauds uproariously.


Eli was an assistant professor of English Literature at Brooks College. The recent publication of his second novel-


A copy of Eli Cash's latest book, Old Custer. On the dust jacket there is an illustration of an Indian in warpaint with a long, bloody knife clasped between his teeth and a yellow scalp hanging from his hand.


Eli walks among the card catalogues surrounded by a crowd of admirers.


-had earned him a sudden, unexpected literary celebrity.


Eli standing near the circulation desk with a group of professors drinking cocktails.


Well, everyone knows that Custer died at Little Bighorn. What this book presupposes is: (tentatively) maybe he didn't?

Eli shrugs and smiles.

No further commentary required, lest it tarnish the brilliance of that scene, from page 21 in the screenplay.


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