Thursday, July 29, 2010

I Was Told There'd Be Cake by Sloane Crosley

Not only is Sloane Crosley witty, but she's insightful. In her bestselling book of essays I Was Told There'd Be Cake, she details volunteering gone awry, childhood friends coming out of the woodwork, disturbed neighbors, and crazy bosses. Things often don't go her way and that's makes for a good read (who locks themselves out of their apartment twice in one day or accidentally takes a butterfly from a museum exhibit?). I knew I liked her after reading a particular essay entitled "Bastard Out of Westchester," on wishing to be unique when you come from suburbia (the place that squashes uniqueness at every turn-- my words, not hers). She so eloquently disses the suburban childhood:
". . . suburban kids are uniquely mean. They don't have the dangers of drive-by shootings or shark attacks to put things into perspective. The poor aren't considered genuinely impoverished and the wealthy aren't rich rich. Everything is muted. Other side effects include but are not limited to: inadverdent house arrest until the age of eighteen, the mall as ecosphere, jingling car keys as status symbol, an intimate knowledge of golf courses but a lack of global awareness."
I must admit that not every essay is a home run for me, but there are quite a few spot-on ones to make up for this. My favorites include the aforementioned "Bastard Out of Westchester," "You On a Stick," and "Smell This." All funny and oh, so, relate-able. So relate-able, in fact, that she's currently developing this book for HBO.

Find it in the catalog!

(Also see her recently released sophomore essay effort How Did You Get This Number)