A collection of poignant, perceptive essays that expertly blends the personal and political in an exploration of American culture through the lens of our obsession with dead women.In her debut collection, Alice Bolin turns a critical eye to literature and pop culture, the way media consumption reflects American society, and her own place within it. From essays on Joan Didion and James Baldwin to Twin Peaks, Britney Spears, and Serial, Bolin illuminates our widespread obsession with women who are abused, killed, and disenfranchised, and whose bodies (dead and alive) are used as props to bolster a mans story.From chronicling life in Los Angeles to dissecting the Dead Girl Show to analyzing literary witches and werewolves, this collection challenges the narratives we create and tell ourselves, delving into the hazards of toxic masculinity and those of white womanhood. Beginning with the problem of dead women in fiction, it expands to the larger problems of living womenboth the persistent ...
|Title||:||Dead Girls: Essays on Surviving an American Obsession|
|Number of Pages||:||288 pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
Dead Girls: Essays on Surviving an American Obsession Reviews
A completely misguided title and description. After a few flimsy essays about our culture's obsession with "dead girls," it delves into her obsession with Joan Didion and her move to LA and name-dropping literary shit. Yawn. Sometimes she tries to reign in what she's saying to relate to the title but it's too little, too late. The last section was a chore to plow through as well. After all the fawning over Didion, she's all to eager to throw Didion under the bus in order to perform "wokeness". I ...more
I cannot believe I'm only giving this two stars. How is that even possible?! I was so sure this would be one of my top reads of 2018. I felt like I read a different book than what was advertised though.
I wanted to read Dead Girls based off the part of its blurb that said: "From essays on Joan Didion and James Baldwin to Twin Peaks, Britney Spears, and Serial, Bolin illuminates our widespread obsession with women who are abused, killed, and disenfranchised, and whose bodies (dead and alive) are u ...more
What a beautiful, insightful book! Dead Girls is an original first person coming-of-age story rooted in essays that reckon with pop culture's obsession with girls (white ones, primarily, which Bolin examines) and what all this means for the self— that vulnerable, fleshy material that is forced to see itself as both an object of adoration and an object to be destroyed, when all it's trying to do is get a good job with benefits and a taco truck burrito for dinner. The book is not so much exclusive ...more
I really wanted to love this, but I can't help but feel like I was misled. The analysis of the "Dead Girl" only pops up occasionally from chapter to chapter. Instead, this is more of a memoir with a dash cultural criticisms and numerous references to Joan Didion. There's nothing wrong with this, but it's not what I signed up for. Bolin is extremely intelligent and insightful, but I would have liked to see that keen eye turned to the actual topic of the book.
I have mixed feelings about Dead Girls - it starts amazing but sadly I had trouble getting all the way to the end.
I do want to be clear - the first part, about the titular women American culture obsesses over, is incredible. Bolin talks about "Dead Girl Shows" that use the memory of women-who-were to tell stories about the men who killed them or seek to revenge their deaths. Instead of looking at the impulse some men have to prey on young women the narrative of these shows concentrates on the ki ...more
Even though this book didn’t examine the dead girl trope as much as I wanted it to, it’s still an incredible examination of the forces that create an environment that allows the dead girl trope to thrive. She also looks at the ways white women and white feminism are both trapped by, perpetuators, and by-products of the male gaze. Honestly, it’s one of the most critically interrogative essay collections I’ve read in a while. She even points out and examines the inherent problems of the personal e ...more
True crime has been enjoying something between a genre revival and “coming out” in the last few years. “Murder shows” have joined the ranks of wine and yoga pants in the pantheon of guilty pleasures. The fan communities around such podcasts as Serial, My Favorite Murder, and Last Podcast on the Left have opened an unprecedentedly public and popular space for true crime obsessives and new initiates. Flynn’s deliciously trope-subversive Gone Girl vaulted female-centric mysteries from pulpy genre p ...more
My favourites in this collection were definitely "Toward a Theory of a Dead Girl Show," "The Husband Did It," and "A Teen Witch's Guide to Staying Alive." I also loved Bolin's writing about general pop culture, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, Twin Peaks, and Lana Del Rey, and I fell particularly in love with her musings about LA and her focus on Joan Didion. This book is somewhat falsely marketed as most of it past the first essay strays from a cultural criticism of the "dead girl" trope, altho ...more