introducing readers to writers since 1995

July 28, 2005

I Liked the Book, Though

by Ron Hogan

Like Sarah Weinman, I'm a bit ruffled by today's NYT profile of Laura Lippmann, but perhaps for slightly different reasons. The part that gets me is this:

"Ms. Lippman's book is one of several in recent years to probe the sometimes fraught nature of female friendships, particularly among adolescent girls, whose insidious ways of bullying each other are so distinct from the physical aggression of boys. The trend began with Mary Pipher's best-selling Reviving Ophelia: Saving the Selves of Adolescent Girls in 1994 and reached its apogee when Rosalind Wiseman's Queen Bees & Wannabes (2002) became the 2004 movie Mean Girls. But unlike those books, or this year's The Friend Who Got Away, an anthology of essays by well-known women writers, Ms. Lippman's entry is not segregated in the 'relationships' section of the bookstore. It is first and foremost a gripping mystery novel..."

  • Three books (before Laura's) in eleven years is a trend? I mean, I know Michael Cader says three of anything is a trend in publishing, but there's gotta be a time limit.
  • Who's been stocking Pipher and Wiseman in "relationships" rather than, say, "parenting"? Which is just one of the fundamental differences between those two books and The Friend Who Got Away, in which many of the disintegrating friendships take place among adults.
  • Do bookstores ordinarily put fiction in non-fiction sections if they happen to be "about" a certain subject? I don't expect to find Gore Vidal on the history shelves, after all...

None of which detracts from the high readability of Laura's novel, To the Power of Three, though, and I'm glad to see she's getting some attention for it!

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