One of the earliest champions of All The Lives I Want was my cat Keith, a noted pop culture junkie and feminist scholar in his own right. Keith has been by my side since the beginning and today, he surprised me with the incredible gift of this dramatic retrospective wherein he portrays several of the women discussed in my book with the authenticity and profound reverence they so rightly deserve.
Come, let us go on a journey through the pages of this book with Keith as our guide, illuminating the glamour and gore that characterizes their lives.
ANNA NICOLE SMITH
"The American Dream is to be pursued on strict terms dictated by a class of people who generally had the luxury of being born into a family that had already achieved the dream...Those who find fortune without these accoutrements of middle class respectability better have some enormous talent that got them where they are. Anna did not have any of the talents we give any credit or credence to in America. And so Anna did not accept these terms." – From "American Pain"
FIONA APPLE IN "CRIMINAL"
"The perverse brand that rendered the teen Fiona the commissioner of her own exploitation was one that girls of a certain age and disposition were enthralled by. We were the kind of girls who fantasized about look beautiful at our funerals instead of our weddings. But we were not girls who especially wanted to die." – From "Heavenly Creatures"
"With all that smiling she did in photos, she struck me as the kind of woman who didn't want to cause a lot of trouble except when she was ready to cause nothing short of a disaster." – From "All The Lives I Want"
"What is lost to all of the manufactured squabbling in Kim's career is the fact that christening herself "Queen Bee" in the 1990s was always about dominating men rather than competing with other women." – From "There Can Be Only One"
WINONA RYDER IN REALITY BITES
"I had made her an avatar that represented my own suffering and refused to register both at stated facts and notable omissions from the record that might suggest otherwise. The public discourse about Winona had trapped her as the long-suffering girl, and I was in collusion with it. The decision to actively disengage from that way of looking at Winona made me sympathetic to an unlikely ally: Gwyneth Paltrow." – From "Being Winona; Freeing Gwyneth"
LANA DEY REY
"Unlike Fiona, she is not a girl recognizing her own sin in penitential retrospect; she is a woman broadcasting it, perhaps exaggerating the authenticity of her own wickedness as sex appeal. Lana surrenders to man rather than God, begging to retreat to the shadows of the narcissistic but ordinary men whose toxicity seems to intoxicate her." – From "Heavenly Creatures"
I hope you have enjoyed this brief voyage through the book and that Keith's enticing dramatic turn as these iconic women has opened your heart to the possibility of seeing these women, and yourself, in a new light.
All The Lives I Want will be published February 7th but if you have one lick of sense, you'll pre-order it from any retailer listed here today.