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
Like all essay collections, some will resonate more than others. For me, Bolin really soars when she writes about pop culture and more specifically, about the ways "dead girls" become impetus for character development of men. She critically explores girlhood and race, without making sweeping statements about the status of girlhood -- she breaks it down, exploring what white girlhood to us culturally. What that says about who we are and what we care about (hint: it's not the dead girl, but it's a ...more
I wanted to like this so much more than I did. The series of definitely well-written essays warrant the praise they've been getting, but marketing this book as an examination of society's obsession with beautiful dead girls and true crime was wholly incorrect. This topic was only touched upon and never really gone into detail, which I was disappointed with.
Other than that, it was a great collection of essays about the difficulties of starting over in an unknown place, but it was marketed and sol ...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
This one is rough. I really, really enjoyed the first and third section, but the 2nd and 4th fell a bit flat to me, as someone who doesn't particularly care about LA or Joan Didion (and who was expecting more cultural analysis and not an autobiographical dive into the author's life that isn't particularly relevant).
Honestly, I'm going to check out the author's articles, since I suspect that the stronger pieces in here probably exist as stand-alones, and forward those to friends, instead of recom ...more
This was somewhat interesting and enjoyable, but I feel like I expected it to be an analysis of a specific harmful trope from a feminist perspective. It felt more like a collection of personal essays mixed with literary criticism, and it felt like the trope of America’s obsession with women who die young was merely something that popped up here and there based on the authors interests and life story.
I feel like I’m ultimately disappointed, but with that said, Bolin is not a bad writer. I just f ...more
while not every essay is based around the dead girls trope, i do think the vast majority of this collection is worthwhile
(3 and a half stars!)
Bolin's collection of cultural criticism is sharply observed and pretty accessible, offering a nice mix of close analysis and personal reflection, though it's a little less explicity focused than the title suggests. As with any collection, readers will gravitate toward certain pieces. I personally loved the dissection of Los Angeles Noir (which articulated a connection between the "aimlessness" of the plotting in these works and the landscape of the city that makes perfect s ...more
Underscoring the importance of this book--when you search for it on Goodreads, about a thousand books with Dead Girl in the title come up. The first few essays, about the patriarchy and what our obsession with dead women actually means about our culture, are brilliant. The rest of the book is really fine.
Well worth the read, especially if you are a writer working in the murder area.