Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Best-Loved Books of 2008, #9: Favorite humorous familiar essays:

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I Was Told There'd Be Cake by Sloane Crosley (Riverhead/Penguin)
(Bonus: Cake! Er, I mean another author who's a really decent human being!)

In observation of my birthday, I'm highlighting fellow befuddled but well-meaning white girl Sloane Crosley; I feel she would understand both the bittersweet moment of growing up (I'm 30 today), and my ravenous need for cake. Ms. Crosley, a publicist at Vintage (whom I've had the pleasure of working with as publicist and as author), has inspired a certain amount of backlash for the crime of having it all: a professional career, a writing career, A-listers like Jonathan Lethem in her Rolodex, and she's cute, too. Strangely enough, she seems to have these things because she actually deserves them: she's talented, professional, and a really nice person. And her essays even deserve the Lethem blurb they bear. From the story of locking herself out of two different apartments in the same day while moving, to the explanation for her collection of plastic ponies, to the cookie that ended her first (terrible) job, her stories are both bizarre and familiar to those of us who moved to the big city to grow up. Laugh-out-loud reading that doesn't fail to learn something serious, this is a legit (albeit light) literary effort.

And now I'll out my own little Sloane story: my one and only publication in the Village Voice was in response to an essay she wrote in 2004. Read it to see why I did not add it to my professional clips, nor show it to my mother. The ALP's parents sure got a kick out of it, though. Thanks for humiliation, Sloane. I feel we're both grown up enough to get a good laugh out of it now.