Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Brief Whine

I won't be long because I should be working, but I'm returning a library book half-read (well, more like 20% read), and I wanted to mention it before it was out of sight and, therefore, mind.

Stick Figure, by Lori Gottlieb, which we plugged on This American Life at one point. I have faith in those people, though they like Dan Savage a lot more than I do. But I couldn't like this book. It's written as a diary of an 11-year-old girl, but it's spotty in its realism as a diary. Of course, no diary-style novel ever reads like a real diary, with the holes, assumptions, whims, ramblings, etc. But these entries all give the very strong impression of an adult interpreting how things must have looked to her precocious young self, with a layer of "confusion" over it. An example is the author's clear awareness of her mother's gender-specific hypocrisies regarding food; another is the line where she says "I look at the women in the magazines; maybe that's what I'm supposed to look like." Well, yes, people feeling that way is a huge problem. But there's this too-precious "confusion" that the girl expresses, which is positively drowned in the adult author's neon signs pointing at the bad messages she was sent as a child.

It's about her eating disorder. I couldn't finish it. So sorry.

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