Saturday, November 10, 2012

In Praise of Messy Lives

Katie Roiphe

Reading Katie Roiphe is like a drink of Campari and grapefruit, bittersweet and bracing. She’s the sort of person who’d be a good friend, but never your best friend. Thoughtful, considerate, yes, but a little too astringent, a little too willing to be dead honest, a little too sarcastic, a little too ready to see the ridiculous in the things you thought you admired.

Thank goodness we still have essayists, and books of essays; that we haven’t all crawled up the navel of novels, or nonfiction, but still have people like Roiphe dedicated to just writing opinion.

What’s she on about? Pointless babies, American travelers, benighted relationships, Didion, Austen, the incest card, Sontag, Updike, modern urban life, the benighted Internet, being a dominatrix.

There is so much she finds questionable, but so much she wants to appreciate. Her approach/avoidance for everything is one long invigorating tone poem.

- Peter Ferguson

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