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Dead Girls: Essays on Surviving an American Obsession
Contributor(s): Bolin, Alice

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ISBN: 0062657143     ISBN-13: 9780062657145
Publisher: William Morrow & Co
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Binding Type: Paperback
Published: June 2018

Annotation: "A collection of sharp, poignant essays that expertly blends the personal and political in an exploration of American culture through the lens of our obsession with dead women"--
Additional Information
Library of Congress Subjects:
Women in popular culture; United States.
Women in mass media.
Death in popular culture; United States.
BISAC Categories:
- Literary Criticism | Feminist
- Biography & Autobiography | Personal Memoirs
- Social Science | Popular Culture
Dewey: 305.40973
LCCN: 2017052897
Academic/Grade Level: General Adult
Book type: Non-Fiction
Physical Information: 8.25" H x 5.50" W x 0.75" (0.50 lbs) 276 pages
Descriptions, Reviews, Etc.

Reviewed by Publishers Weekly Reviews (PW Reviews 2018 April #1)

Bolin's debut collection is a mixed bag of essays loosely based on female character tropes in pop culture and literature, from the "dead girls" of contemporary noir television shows to the teen witches and werewolves of film and literature. Discussing pop stars, Bolin defends Lana Del Rey's burlesque show tour and astutely deconstructs Britney Spears's oeuvre, contending that Spears's early bubble gum facade masks "a prodigious loneliness." Bolin riffs and flits through topics with tangents that don't always connect to the main theme; in one essay she begins by exploring the femme fatales in the otherwise progressive detective novels of the Scandinavian duo Maj Sjöwell and Peter Wahlöö, touches briefly on Pippi Longstocking, and then ponders her father's recent Asperger's diagnosis. In the collection's lengthy final essay, Bolin reevaluates her obsession with the writer Joan Didion, who admittedly inspired Bolin's move to L.A. in 2014. In this piece, she recounts her own misadventures in a new city, which leads to the realization that Didion's ethos of "glamorous desperation" may be just blind privilege. This last piece is a great personal essay—it's smart, confessional, and fully developed—and the other works in this collection pale in comparison. (June)

Copyright 2018 Publishers Weekly.
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