2.28.2005

I'm not really an Oscars kind of a girl, but you know, neither is Chris Rock. I turned it on briefly to a pre-recorded bit where he went down to the Magic Johnson theatres to talk to some black folks, none of whom had seen too many of the very white films nominated.

Many of whom loved White Chicks however.

Chris Rock and Dave Chapelle are such role models for us here at Cupcake: they're totally political, but not limited in their vision to one viewpoint. They focus on the storytelling, and they're hilarious.

Chris Rock gave the black moviegoers Oscars to hold while giving their imagined acceptance speeches. This was GORGEOUS, and magic. It highlights the insane lack of anybody not white giving such speeches, obviously, and by however many million people watching these acceptance speeches Chris Rock majorly boosts the thread in the world for more such speeches. Repeating the story make the story more and more true. It's fake-it-til-you-make-it in action. Chris Rock as much of a teacher right now to me as Tori Amos has been.

Is the Academy coming around? I remember so vividly back in the eighties when Do the Right Thing, which along with Blue Velvet redefined American film in that decade, didn't even get nominated. And then of course the year that the Guerrilla Girls threw "Anatomically Correct Oscar" (i.e., middleaged white hetero dudes) billboards outside the studios in LA was the year that Denzel and Halle won (for what were to me astonishingly degrading roles, but I guess we can't expect too much too soon from these white men who most of the country allows to hold such power: the power of our stories and our imaginations.)

Maybe it's changing. And Chris Rock gives me such hope that you can effect that change by being whip smart, rather than by being a kissass.

We'll see. Big activist efforts to come from us this spring, oh my oh my oh my.

xo
Elizabeth

2.27.2005

What a gorgeous time we had at Cupcake on Friday. Katherine Lanpher and Ann Powers were stellar, the crowd was my favorite New York crowd as always.

I've been watching Ann's career for so long. When I was in graduate school in the late nineties and all this Cupcake stuff-- the lack of women published as serious writers--was becoming all too painfully apparent to me, I would get such a boost from reading her reviews in the New York Times. Her presence there gave me hope. We need more of that--the New Yorker having one woman byline on the Table of Contents last week is so bad for ALL women.

I've been really inpsired lately by all the good work going on at Dave Eggers's 826 tutoring centers, but when you have one woman in the New Yorker, just as one example of how abysmal the job/recognition stuff is for women writers, how can you teach young girls how to write? What's the point? So they can fight over the one slot out of fourteen? So they can start planning on getting a job in fashion and writing a tell all now in order to pay their rent into their thirties?

Hm.

Anyway, what a gorgeous night that was, and the book, Piece by Piece, debuted at 14 on the bestseller list, which I do believe could keep my heart warm for all of March.

xo
Elizabeth
Don't miss CJR Daily's interview with Susan Estrich. Noted:
I don't think discrimination is conscious, but that makes it even harder to deal with. I don't think anybody sits down and says, we hate women here. But they call their friends, print whom they like, whom they know, who's been around. It takes a conscious effort to make change. I remember once asking a panel of men at a news business conference about how gender entered into their coverage and to a man -- including now-Mayor Bloomberg -- they said they didn't take gender into account. Well, if you don't, [the end result] is just one woman, or none. That is what most corporate boards look like, and it's what most op-ed pages look like. But an op-ed page is easier to change than a corporate board. You can change it in a matter of hours or days, just by deciding to, and reaching out consciously.
Yes, it is that easy. Thank you, Susan!

-Lauren

2.26.2005

The 40 or so of you that came out last night to hear Ann Powers discuss her work, and her life, and her approach to music criticism in conversation with the stunning journalist Katherine Lanpher (note to Katherine: we are all absolutely dying for you to start a book show on the radio in NYC! Pretty pretty please!) , are very lucky creatures indeed. It was definitely a Cupcake special event by all accounts!

I am reading Ann's newest book, Tori Amos: Piece by Piece, a collaboration between the ultimate Cupcake rock critic and the ultimate Cupcake rock star, with great interest, and also highly recommend Ann's memoir, Weird Like Us: My Bohemian America, for a dose of the incisive social and political commentary we are all craving at the moment.

(Also: anyone who ever reads my personal blog knows I am nurturing a little obsession with all things Bohemian right now, which reminds me that author Rene Steinke, author of the forthcoming novel, Holy Skirts was in the audience last night.)

Ann also recommended an excellent new book that she has contributed to, called The Rose and the Briar: Death, Love, and Liberty in the American Ballad, and read Edelweiss, her pithy book from a series called Bookmarks (Elizabeth bought it at Elliott Bay Book Company, but I can't find any mention of it online) .

Next time you're in Seattle, make sure to stop by the Experience Music Project, where she is currently a curator. She also said she plans on doing a lot more writing (yay-lucky us!) and we even managed to work in a little convo post-reading about a potential future Cupcake featuring a panel of female rock critics. How cool would that be? Very cool indeed.

Needless to say, despite her claims to the contrary, Ann Powers is a total rock star. Thank you again to Katherine Lanpher for moderating a wonderful conversation and post-reading Q&A with the audience, and to Bluestockings for selling books!

And while I presume Elizabeth will post her comments and thanks sometime this weekend, I'll just say, on behalf of both of us, a special thank you to all of you who joined us last night, and to those who come out for the reading each month, and send us email, and read the blog, and tell your friends -- your continued support and inspiration make it all worthwhile.

xoxo,
Lauren

2.24.2005

What, does Michael Kinsley work at the History Channel now, too? Is Lawrence Summers moonlighting as a PA these days?

-Lauren

2.23.2005

Essential Cupcake Ingredient of the Week: Antibiotics

We're both sick! Lauren and I are both fighting this crazy flu that is going around. I'm coming out of mine (it involved a weekend of codiene for all the hacking and hacking), so maybe I'll come up with a bit more for you tomorrow.

For now: Our Friday event with Ann Powers and Katherine Lanpher got listed in the New Yorker (minus any mention of Cupcake itself. A "Talk" we are, apparently). This listing, though, appeased my grumpiness--only one woman contributor's byline in the table of contents. When this happens, as it pretty much always does the weeks I actually manage to look at my New Yorker, I growl and want to throw the thing across the subway car, and I am thankful that my Time Out comes the same day. A horoscope is so much more hopeful than a less-than-ten-percent representation of women, no? A little horoscope, a little shopping tip, that easy interview on the back page.

Everyone I owe email to: I will catch you next week, baby, but please do come out this FRIDAY at 7:30 to Lolita.

xo
Elizabeth

2.22.2005

The latest edition of the Smart Set is up. Noteworthy: On Wednesday, Maxine Swann (Serious Girls) and One Story editor Hannah Tinti (Animal Crackers) read at Open City's series at KGB. 7:00pm, FREE.

You know they're both amazing, if you were at Cupcake this month (Maxine) or October '03 (Hannah)...

Also note: Cupcake is Friday, featuring a special event avec Ann Powers.

-Lauren
Thank you to Jenny Davidson for pointing out the error of my [now deleted] Slate post this afternoon, which I interpreted at face value. I usually find that column tedious, if I read it all, and was shocked -- amazed - that it was culturally relevant and seemingly dead-on for once. But duh, I missed the sarcasm. Besides, I really am over that whole irony thing.

No snaps for you, Jack Shafer!

xoxo,
Lauren
I am so pleased to let you know that for the month of March, upcoming Cupcake Paula Kamen will be guest blogging here on Fridays. She's a pistol, watch out for this one. I met her at a writers colony in 2001 and have been really enjoying getting to know her voice since then. You must check out her books. The next one, All in My Head, is out soon, and looks great. So does her sprightly new website, do check her out.

xo
Elizabeth

2.21.2005

Our lovely Cupcake alum Danyel Smith (author of the new novel Bliss forthcoming from Crown in July 2005) writes in with an update and some viewing suggestions:
Hey all,

Herewith my longish, shameless plug for the ego trip VH1 series. First night is Feb. 21 [tonight!]

Check the link for:

"Dude, Where's My Ghetto Pass?"
Monday Feb. 21
9/8c PM

"Blackaphobia"
Tuesday Feb. 22
9/8c PM

"In Race We Lust"
Wednesday Feb. 23
9/8c PM

"Race-O-Rama is a series focusing on funny and provocative racial observations. The series is a follow up of VH1 and ego trip's first partnership, TV's Illest Minority Moments, which was adapted from ego trip's Big Book of Racism . The high profile show featured guests Anthony Anderson, John Singleton, Kelis, Outkast, the RZA and Joey Medina and others talkingabout some of the most compelling, provocative and unintentionally hilarious race-related moments in television. The series will consist of three one hour specials exploring some amusing, bizarre and hot button topics."


xo Elizabeth (via Danyel)

2.18.2005

HELL YES IT'S TIME FOR CAPITAL LETTERS:
THE BIGGER, THE BOLDER, THE BETTER

From Howard Kurtz's Media Notes Extra column, entitled Valentine's Day Arrow," at WashingtonPost.com:
First, let me say that our country needs more women pundits. I've never quite understood why--unlike, say, boxing--it's a male-dominated field. Quick, how many female newspaper columnists can you name other than Maureen Dowd? They're out there, but not in great enough numbers.

Women seem to do better in management. The top editors at the Chicago Tribune, Philadelphia Inquirer and Atlanta Journal-Constitution (and, until scandal hit, USA Today) are women. So are the Washington bureau chiefs of ABC, CBS and Fox. Not to mention the managing editor and editorial page editor of the New York Times.

But the op-ed pages of the major papers are mostly testosterone-laden. And that has prompted quite a blast from Susan Estrich, who has been more successful at punditry (she opines on Fox News) than she was in politics (Michael Dukakis's campaign manager).

Estrich is mad at Michael Kinsley, the former New Republic and Slate editor who recently took over the LAT opinion pages while commuting from Seattle. He doesn't run many women, she says, including, um, her.

The new paper in D.C., the Examiner, reprints a blast e-mail that Estrich sent out to a bunch of gal pals on Valentine's Day, saying "let's break some hearts":

"It is with great regret that I send you this message, asking you to help me in fighting blatant sex discrimination at the Los Angeles Times.

"What could be more important - or easier for that matter - than ensuring that women's voices are heard in public discourse in our community? For the last three years, my students and I have been counting the number of women whose opinion pieces appear in The Los Angeles Times, and the record is worse than dismal, worse than The New York Times (which has a woman editorial page editor), worse than The Washington Post, even worse than the Orange County Register (which has a woman editor). I have been trying, quietly, to force the editors there to address it - but things have gone from bad to worse under the leadership of the new opinion editor, Michael Kinsley, who replaced an African American woman, and now has three men in the top jobs, and 90 percent men writing for his section. Need I add that none of these men are from Southern California; Michael doesn't even live here. . . .

"A few weeks ago, I pointed out to Michael that they went looking for people to ask about their opinions on the war in Iraq: and found THIRTEEN MEN AND NO WOMEN."

Uh-oh, we're breaking out the capital letters.

What really got Estrich going was an article Kinsley ran in the Sunday opinion section: "FEMINIST FATALE. Where are the great women thinkers? Thinking so much about women has shrunk their minds. That was the headline and the whole top half of the paper ...The article last Sunday was penned by a feminist-hater I have never heard of, nor probably have you, by the name of Charlotte Allen."
Yeah, I didn't mention that article here, because it was so pathetic. Also, it was about "feminist intellectuals," but so obviously not written by one, and you know, I'm really over that whole irony thing.

Susan Estrich - you stealth Cupcake, you - you're ROCKIN' MY WORLD!

XO
Lauren
Whew! Standard Deviance eviscerates Lawrence Summers, so I don't have to today. Thanks, Ellen! [and thanks to Nichelle for bringing it to our attention]

-Lauren
The really quite sublime literary blog called Rake's Progress points us to the also rather sublime Lannan Foundation's online audio of a recent reading & conversation by Lousie Erdrich, with book critic Gail Caldwell. Do check it out.

-Lauren
I love the interviews at Gothamist.com -- although at times comically uneven from week to week, they are definitely the best feature of the site. As I read the interview with Danyel Smith yesterday -- which in addition to being thoroughly enjoyable, was fabulous because she's a Cupcake (May '04) -- it got me to reminiscing about all the Cupcakes who have been interviewed there (and there have been more than a couple in the past year or two).

With that in mind, here's a special Gothamist Interview edition of the not-so-half-baked Cupcake media conspiracy theory:

Jami Attenberg
Maud Newton
Maccers
Blaise K
Rachel Kramer Bussel (who's now a Gothamist interviewer!)
Elizabeth Spiers

Also: Kirsten Major gets an honorable mention for being name-dropped by John Hodgman.

And: Amanda Stern gets a golden cupcake iced with pixie dust for actually mentioning Cupcake in her interview (and also in another at Maisonneuve).

The Big Apple: Soon to be known as the Big Cupcake...? Hmmmmm.....

XOXO,
Lauren

2.17.2005

We love all the great stuff that is happening at 826NYC. What an inspiration they are.

Tonight especially: join Cupcake alums Hannah Tinti and Monique Truong (along with Jonathan Lethem and moderator Dave Eggers) for a panel: Writing and Publishing the Novel.

(Monique and Hannah aren't mentioned on the 826 website but Monique emailed to let us know they'd both be there).

Check it out: a 3-hour panel, starting at 6:30, for fifty bucks, all of which goes to support the free tutoring and writing programs 826 provides to local students. How cool.

xo
Elizabeth

2.16.2005

The best way to get me to do anything around the house is to put on This American Life and tell me to wash a dish. I'm in a way anti-domestic phase (ask me and I will tell you how to screw up making a salad) but This American Life will work.

Mulling over this now: the folks at This American Life are very Cupcake: they famously work their asses off, and freelancers I know who have submitted are in awe of how high their standards are and how good and specific the work has to be to get on the show. This American Life has created a space for substantive, interesting work. They made the careers of Sarah Vowell and David Sedaris within mainstream publishing via the relatively low-tech, low-profile method of a weekly NPR radio show. How many weekly NPR shows are there? A lot. A big bunch of them. But through quality and vision and work TAL created a little world, and I mean come on, Sedaris is the latest substantive revolution I can think of in the mainstream publishing world (just look at people's Spring Street Personals for five seconds, or take a writing class, and you will see what I mean here, my cupcakes).

I teach writing classes, so I am always coming up with these little lessons in response to peoples questions, discomfort, pain, agony, frustration with their writing process and the question of why the hell they're writing anyway if it's so hard to get substantive work out there. My lessons include:
Never start a short story with the alarm clock going off.

Writing is like a color photocopier (you have to take the class to hear this one).

Thinking about getting a book deal is pure poison and will make you feel crazy for however long you keep obsessing over it. It's really not that far from trying to make your financial plans based on winning the lottery or landing a rich husband. These things can totally happen, and I hope they do happen for you, but trying to get these things to happen in most cases, especially if you're not writing a book about purses and rich husbands, is going to seriously mess you up and is a waste of your time.
The folks at This American Life did not try to get a book deal first. They created their little world and people came to it. That is what we are doing here, and that is also what I am about to do with Demimonde Books. Be the change you want to see in the world: that is so true. That is not about just sort of smiling with compassion at someone being a callous asshole and taking breathing classes and sitting around a zendo trying to forget that Buddhism comes out of a patriarchal tradition even though it's got so much great stuff going for it. Being the change you want to see in the world is about kicking ass and taking names. It is this: if you want to read more interesting books, then teach people how to write more interesting books, put a focus on the interesting books that are already out there, and create a way for the books that are too challenging, substantive, whatever for mainstream publishing to get out into the world. That's what it means for me. What does it mean for you, darlings? I can't wait.

In the meantime: TOTAL REQUIRED LISTENING. This one blew me away. "DIY" is the story of Collin Warner who was wrongfully imprisoned for 20 years for a murder he didn't commit, and Carl King, who worked his ass off and got him out of jail. This is not "knit a tampon case" or "make a skirt out of a pillowcase" DIY, Cupcakes. You must listen.

(The link is to audible.com, where you can buy it, but if you go to the This American Life main site now it's up on that top page and you can listen to it for free.)

xo
Elizabeth
Highly recommended friend of a dear friend of Cupcake, Mike Daisey, has a new show about Nikola Tesla, a man who has piqued the Cupcakes' interest this month since Samantha Hunt told us all about him during her interview with Katherine Lanpher after her reading on 2/9. Here's the scoop:

In his newest monologue, Mike Daisey explores the warped genius of inventor Nikola Tesla and his war with Thomas Edison over electricity--alternating current versus direct current--a battle that etched itself into the streets of New York City itself.


Tickets and more info about this show, which also involves battling the man in the form of Walmart here.

xo
Elizabeth

2.15.2005

APRIL FOOL'S DAY COMES EARLY THIS YEAR:

Who on earth would sweat a guy that writes for McSweeney's? I suppose people do, e.g.
I was obsessed because he, and McSweeney's itself, had rejected TV-cool, punk-cool, grunge-cool and all other cools to date, and had concocted their own brand. They were emotionless as greasers, jovially homoerotic as beatniks, but smart-assy as old Hollywood stars and at times really, really funny. Their best work was like the greatest note you ever got passed in class.
Um, instead of passing that note and stalking that guy, why not write for the magazine yourself, ladies? It certainly beats getting turned away from that Chumbawumba show.

Check out Litsa Dremousis, who wrote an "Open Letter to Keith Richards' Immune System" for McSweeneys, and then was asked to read the piece on NPR last month. Now that's my kind of rock star.

Have a gorgeous day!

XOXO,
Lauren

2.14.2005

When I was in San Francisco last month, I gathered my nearest and dearest of the west for dinner, and I felt like I was backstroking in gold dust (I know I keep saying this, bear with me) because I have had such great friends in so many places over the years.

What really struck me, at this meal, was that I could just sort of sit back quietly and they all kept saying funny sweet things, for hours.

I noticed a quality that each friend--vastly different, from a serious fiction writer to an ayurvedic analyst to an IT guru-lady, just for starters--possesses: my friends smile and almost laugh, often, more instances than not, before speaking. Not just amused at their own encounters or silly foibles or missteps or general endeavors, but more generally, with humans and human nature. This quality of generous humor, physically embedded in their faces. Gold dust, I tell you.

Anyway, this kind of sweet, thoughtful, almost-jaded but too big-hearted actually to be jaded humor at the base of it all is something I just came across in the first few pages of Emily Raboteau's novel The Professor's Daughter. I have had about four minutes since February began, but as soon as I get to ride the subway without doing work again I am going to seriously hang out with this book.

At first, the title subconsciously registered as kinda NPR to me, which is so not what this book is. (It's amazing how the publishing industry fits things into specific categories and leaves certain funkiness out of the sales pitch, no? Well this is why I have to start the Demimonde.) But don't let the title fool you, my Cupcakes. What I've read of this novel so far is lovely. Here, check out the beginning:
My big brother Bernard took great pains to learn how to talk Black. Street Black. Prophet Black. Angry Black. Which wasn't something you heard a lot of where we grew up. It started when his voice suddenly changed. One day, he spoke in the smooth tenor treble of a choir-boy angel, and the next he possessed the devilish bass of Barry White. Once he was blessed with that depth, Bernie culled some of the diction from our father's brilliant friend, Professor Lester Wright, and pulled the rest from Public Enemy. The result was stunning.

It pissed off our mom. "Talk like yourself, Bernie. Please," she'd say. If he was in a good mood, he'd touch the fingertips of one hand against the fingertips of the other and answer, "Mother Lynn, I am nobody but myself. Do I make you uneasy? Let's examine your fear." Pure Professor Lester. Perfector of charm. If he was in a bad mood, he'd just snarl, "Step off, bitch," and Mom would lean over the kitchen sink and cry into a dishrag. He shaved his head like Michael Jordan. He was a teenager. He had transformed.
Just gorgeous. Check her out, she's fabulous.

xo
Elizabeth

2.13.2005

HOW ABOUT A CUPCAKE FOR YOUR VALENTINE?

XOXO
LAUREN

2.11.2005

Bees, we have been so busy whipping up magical events for you, to be enjoyed both in the near and slightly distant future, that we haven't been posting as prolifically as one might like.

I'm afraid that I'm on my way out the door again, but I do want to draw your attention to some fun in the city for you New York Cupcakes:
FRIDAY, 2.11: "ROOM creates a space for us all to inhabit. Wynne Greenwood and Fawn Krieger build a utopian living room out of wood, foam, cheap carpet, and video projections that envisions new ideas about community and home. An immersive video environment during the day, the installation serves as a stage in the evening for the art punk band Tracy + the Plastics.... Exploring notions of identity and communication, the band hangs out, re-imagining 1970s feminist consciousness-raising groups and questioning the present state of radical feminism." At The Kitchen. 8:00pm and 10:00pm, $12 each performance (See also: Thu, Feb 10th @ 8pm; Sat, Feb 12th @ 8pm and 10pm $12; Exhibition Hours: Mon-Sat, Feb 7-12, 12-6pm, FREE).
From the Smart Set, my weekly event listings at MaudNewton.com.

See also: All Cupcakes, All The Time (I am all about smashing the gym as well as the patriarchy, doves).

Have a scandalous weekend!

xoxo,
Lauren

2.10.2005

Sara wants to dump the New Yorker too. Well she has even better reason to do so than I do. But it's sort of a club--he better watch out, this young man, Mr. New Yorker. He should know by now what trouble he can get into if all the girls he jilts join forces. . . .

xo
Elizabeth
Thank you to Maxine, Samantha, and Katherine, and the capacity crowd that came out to join us for an absolutely brilliant reading last night! Katherine led an incredible discussion following M. and S.'s mesmerizing readings, focusing on the way that both Serious Girls and The Seas explore the idea of transformation. It was all very marvelous.

Our next Cupcake is on Friday, Feb 25: Rock critic Ann Powers will be reading from and discussing her latest book, Tori Amos: Piece by Piece. Details are here.

xo,
Lauren

2.09.2005

Cupcake, featuring novelists Maxine Swann and Samantha Hunt, and a post-reading discussion moderated by journalist Katherine Lanpher, is tonight! Details are just a click away at Cupcake HQ.

-Lauren

2.08.2005

Do you need a little love from Jeanette Winterson? Do you? I know you do baby. Here you go:
I am sunk up to my eyebrows in my new book for kids. It is all I want to do, but the emails keep pouring in, and the admin, and the notes from accountants and tax inspectors and busy people in offices who are paid to waste everyone`s time.

People sometimes say I am really organised and I seem to make life work, but the truth is that finding time is a daily struggle, because we live in a world that operates by wasting time.

I am a writer, and I have to find time to write. How crazy is that?

I could spend my life going to conferences and answering emails and airing my opinions on chatshows and in newspapers, quite apart from playing with my shop and seeing to my woodland and my animals.

I love life, and a love a rich and full life, but I am well aware how much mental determination it takes to sit down and read poetry - and we're not even talking about writing it.

For all of you who live in chaos, well so do I. It's just that I am a Virgo, and therefore obliged by the stars to TIDY UP.

No seriously, it is always a struggle to live well - and by that I mean making time for the things that matter, like art and love and cooking, and making time for the things that matter just to you, however wacky. As well as all this we have to earn our living and stay political, and it's no wonder that people feel that they just can't cope.

Deep breath. Sit down. Close your eyes. Remember. Remember who you are and what you care about. Do this little exercise every day.
Read the rest here.

xo
Elizabeth

2.07.2005

Sara at A Little More Life calls the New Yorker's Peter Schjeldahl out on how not hot he is, going around talking shit about Rubens's nudes.

What a Cupcake! (Sara, not Schjeldahl).

xo
Elizabeth

The Bluestockings reading on Friday was so much fun, thank you everybody for coming out, and Lauren for doing such an amazing job organizing and promoting it all in about a week's time. Quinn Dalton: keep your eyes on this one, very talented. I can't wait to read Bulletproof Girl.

In the meantime: Maud, that Cupcake, goes off on the New Yorker and on its shameless association with and promotion of anti-Cupcake Caitlin Flanagan.

xo
Elizabeth

2.06.2005

A thousand sparkling pixie-dusted thanks you to all you fabulous boosters who came out for Elizabeth's first NYC reading of Girly at Bluestockings on Friday. With 50+ people in attendance, the place was at capacity! She and fellow reader Quinn were predictably luminous and amazing, and Beatrice has the full scoop.

Elizabeth's next scheduled reading from Girly is on March 31st as part of the Barbes reading series, hosted by Ned Vizzini.

And don't forget: Cupcake is this Wednesday!

xoxo,
Lauren

2.02.2005

HOT OFF THE PRESS

From the gorgeously revamped listings section in this week's print edition of the New York Press:
Bluestockings
172 Allen St. (Betw. Stanton & Rivington Sts.)
212-777-6028

"Spring Forward: Women on the Verge": Like her "quietly moving" (Booklist) debut novel High Strung, North Carolina-based author Quinn Dalton's new story collection, Bulletproof Girl, centers around alienated women. Tonight, she shares the podium with Elizabeth Merrick, co-founder of the Cupcake Reading Series and author of the forthcoming novel Girly, a sprawling novel told in seven different voices, following three generations of rural Pennsylvanian women (7, FREE).
I am so excited to be working with Quinn and Elizabeth independently of Cupcake to promote their respective projects! We hope you can join us for this buzzworthy glimpse of two fabulous new books that are coming out this spring.

In the meantime, Elizabeth posted excerpts of Girly during the two weeks I was in Paris, and it all begins with the prologue. Skim the November archives for later installments in "our first Cupcake art-blog project."

-Lauren

2.01.2005

Maybe it's the perfect winter sun, maybe it's that I'm back in my little office in Nolita and played hooky for 15 minutes to Lunettes et Chocolat, but I somehow managed to sit down and actually check out the New Yorker. Usually, I just read Sasha (who is in fine form this issue. I am so happy that the New Yorker lets him do things like have a one-word sentence the contents of which is this: "Babe.")

Anyway, the glee continues, because the New Yorker makes our whole project here at Cupcake SO FREAKING EASY. We don't have to make the point. They make it for us:

14 bylines, 2 women!

I am pealing in giddy fits of laughter here at NYU, disturbing the serious academics around me. You know it.

Two of the writers in my classes are lamenting the time their freelance stuff is taking them. They love TeenVogue and CosmoGirl, they say, because these magazines pay and keep having work. But it's hard for these two freelancers to get their heads around their own writing when the CosmoGirl viewpoint pays the rent.

Idea: let's send 6 of those 12 dudes in the New Yorker to CosmoGirl for 6 months and see what happens. Let's bring 6 women from CosmoGirl (they have the same education as the dudes at the New Yorker, I can tell you that much) on over to Seriousland and see what they stir up. Like a dinnerparty where you switch seats halfway through so it doesn't get too dull. Ya know?

xo
Elizabeth

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