books: “trick mirror” by jia tolentino, “nine perfect strangers” by liane moriarty, “ghost wall” by sarah moss

trick mirror

ugh jia tolentino is such a good writer tbh, when i got my new yorker subscription the first thing i did was read her entire backlog in like two nights. i’ve been following her work since jezebel and it’s really exciting tbh!

anyway i really enjoyed this book of essays, and i liked how much ambiguity is in it, including tolentino’s own pov — it’s interesting to see someone write about internet feminism and her mixed feelings about it from someone who is an internet feminist and who acknowledges that she’s doing in many ways the same thing she’s criticizing.

i think my favorite bit was the part talking about the current spate of celebrity feminism, where difficulty in women becomes laudable in and of itself, and how much that refracts and warps feminism to suit the aims of the speaker. it’s something i struggle with a lot, actually! i have seen some very talented writers who i mostly like and want to agree with like — i’ve seen a straight-up defense of monstrous mothers and how it’s feminism, actually, to not love your children, and how unfair criticism of abusive mothers is since motherhood is a trap, and i cannot overstate how much it fucks me up to see that and how much it hurts to have my own abuse dismissed as not, like, REAL problems because a REAL feminist would Understand.

anyway: good.

nine perfect strangers

this was — fine, i guess. i thought the central conflict would be something less utterly, cataclysmically stupid, and — maybe i’m still startled from the whole sarah dessen thing, but i’m super unimpressed with the really meanspirited “and the DUMB WOMAN who called me UNFEMINIST loses ALL HER MONEY AND DIES ALONE” thing

ghost wall

i really liked this; captures that abuse “god stop antagonizing them” feeling admirably. i — am not Arty and wish there were quotation marks anywhere, but i still really liked this a lot.

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