There’s a confessional quality to the book, places where you really call out your own “beauty craziness,” as you call it: the bad wax jobs, the diets. What was your aim?
Some of my favorite writers are people who can delicately flay their own cultural milieus, but let the reader come out alive, along with the hero or heroine. I’m thinking Jane Austen, Zora Neal Hurston, Muriel Spark, Nabokov. I tried to give the book an anthropological feel—the comments of a participant-observer like Margaret Mead—with the subject being me in my own freaky twenty-first century tribe. Our emerging world culture is so contradictory, especially when it comes to women, that it needs keen-eyed, but also empathetic, critics. I wanted to hang myself out to dry so we could all laugh and then move forward.