Category Archives: Sex and the City

C is NOT for “Chick Lit”

But it IS for Cecily, Candace, and Commencement! (hehe, and CHUCK) Last week, the Union Square Barnes & Noble AGAIN made my literary dreams come true by hosting a book signing with Cecily von Ziegesar, Candace Bushnell, and that other girly book authorĀ  (J. Courtney Sullivan).

What better way to celebrate Serena van der Woodsen’s Bastille Day Birthday, than WITH HER CREATOR?!?! I read the Gossip Girl books (yes, all of them) during my senior year of high school. Okay, I was only 4 years older than I should have been, reading a girly teen fiction series… don’t hate. I loved that I was applying for schools at the same time as the characters, and living senior year right as S & B were. I remember reading Gossip Girl to put off a Hamlet paper, and I’d open the book… and Serena was PUTTING OFF A HAMLET PAPER! Yes, yes I DID apply to Boston University because Nate did. Yes I DID buy Gauloise cigarettes while in France because Serena smoked them chimneyily. Yes I DID have my mother use natural oils to concoct a real-life replica of the “Serena’s Tears” perfume. YES I DID bring the first book with me to my freshman year of college like some girls bring their bible. OKAY?!?!?!! I have a problem, and I’m aware of it. Yet, Cecily is one of the many people on my “dream dinner party” guest list, and I couldn’t pass up the chance to drool at her brilliance. I mean, she’s…like…THE CREATOR OF BLAIR. The books were so great…. and then season 3 of the show and Vanessa’s HAIRY HAIRY HEAD ruined them! Except not really cause nothing EVER could, but still, Josh Schwartz: you always come just SO close to brilliance and then invite Hilary Duff… I mean kill Marissa… I mean jump the shark. UGH.

The beautiful ladies were at Barnes & Noble to promote their latest novels and not address the enormous elephant in the room that was my main question: “Cecily, how is it that you’ve allowed for the television series to be so CRAPTASTIC in comparison to your books, and yet Candace has done just the opposite in that the show is just as wondrous as her original novel, if not slightly better?” Oh. Maybe I was the only one thinking this.

Candace was very sweet when I met her, and she behaved like a charmingly inappropriate Carrie Bradshaw, explaining the changes in the workplace for women today (less cocaine in the office, safer city streets, etc. etc.). The ladies also discussed their novels, writing, “the process,” and each offered wise gems such as Candace’sĀ  “…When you’re in your twenties, you feel like, ‘I have to get everything done. Right. Now!’ and… you really don’t,” and “If you don’t feel that if you’re not a writer [or whatever career it may be], you’ll DIE, then DON’T do it.” Candace’s friendship with the GREAT SIR BRET EASTON ELLIS was clear with her explanation about the “idealism that a teenager has… [and the] break between the fantasy of adult life and the reality of adult life…[there is an] inherent tension in it, which goes back to girl versus society.” Thus began Cecily’s eloquent dismissal of “chick lit” as a defining category of literature, and asking “is there a ‘DUDE LIT’?!” I knew as soon as the rando in the audience mentioned “CHICK LIT” in the same sentence as one of their names that heads would roll. CECILY IS NO LAUREN CONRAD!

It should also be noted that Cecily chatted with me and Annie (the Serena to my Blair) for so long after signing all three books I’d brought (including the copy of the first novel which I purchased in French, in France), and J. Courtney Sullivan is so sweet and adorable and… Candace Bushnell created the novel that led to a very well-written show? All in all: GREAT evening of female-driven books and CCCChit CCCCChat!

Advertisements

BRET. EASTON. ELLIS.

I’ve thought a great deal about just how to describe the thrill of my happenings Tuesday night.

I legitimately cannot find the words, and was too shaken and rattled TO TWEET. YEA.

140 CHARACTERS, FOR THE FIRST TIME, WERE TOO LIMITING AND ALL I CAN SAY IS:

kajshdgiuaywrgkljahsgvklabjsfvo;ahuglarhgkvjlhgadigluyeakjfgha;odfguykaljhgouayfgoiafdkhjasdfg;jkajshdgiuaywrgkljahsgvklabjsfvo;ahuglarhgkvjlhgadigluyeakjfgha;odfguykaljhgouayfgoiafdkhjasdfg;j

yes. i believe “kajshdgiuaywrgkljahsgvklabjsfvo;ahuglarhgkvjlhgadigluyeakjfgha;odfguykaljhgouayfgoiafdkhjasdfg;jkajshdgiuaywrgkljahsgvklabjsfvo;ahuglarhgkvjlhgadigluyeakjfgha;odfguykaljhgouayfgoiafdkhjasdfg;j” accurately depicts the thoughts in my head Tuesday night, as I sat with my dear friend, fellow New York-inhabiting intern, wingman, and encourager, Greg, in the Union Square Barnes & Noble awaiting the arrival of BRET EASTON ELLIS.

SIR ELLIS

Most people know Sir Ellis (as he SHALL HENCEFORTH be referred) as the author of classics such as Less Than Zero and The Rules of Attraction.

Sir Ellis is making the rounds for his latest work, Imperial Bedrooms, which was placed on shelves June 15th. Click here for more about his recent piece, which is the “continuation” of Less Than Zero. Click here for more about the glory that is Bret Easton Ellis, and all about his fabulosity and epicness. CAUSE HE TWEETS TOO.

American Psycho ROCKED MY LIFE. I read it this past spring and tired everyone I came across with elaborate exclamations of its epicness.

During the Q&A, Sir Ellis said that he started out writing the book to make a “sweeping indictment of Wall Street,” and he “spent a lot of time with these Wall Street guys,” but the book “devolved into something else”. The “book started from [his] feeling incredibly lonely, alienated and isolated… entering the world of adulthood and [his] being very disappointed about being an adult…worshiping things [he] thought were bullshit.” It came from “feelings [Sir Ellis] had about slipping into that lifestyle–the attraction of yuppie culture–materialism, really, and conformity about ‘I need to do these things to become an adult.'” He addresses how controversial the book was and how he didn’t think it was controversial (I AGREEEEEEE) and how frowned upon and misunderstood it was, and that he never really spoke about the novel. He says, “but its odd, and I feel that this book has become accepted enough” for him to address things that he initially tried to diffuse and felt so “uncomfortable talking about.”

Knowing that Sir Ellis spent most of his career snorting cocaine off of models in New York and LA, I was assuming his reading and signing to be mostly him, wearing Ray Bans, while I bowed at his feet begging to breathe the same air.

thank you, nymag article, for the pic

WELL. Turns out Andrew McCarthy, who starred in the film “adaptation” (novel and film had few similarities) of Less Than Zero, made a surprise appearance to moderate the chat, Q&A, and leave before the signing. I know and love him not from the Brat Pack, not from Pretty in Pink, but OBVI from his wonderful work as Victory Ford’s love in NBC’s LIPSTICK JUNGLE! Which was canceled all too soon and tragically for me to cope with, and seeing as I am far from within the age demographic targeted, I was not among the furious women who sent NBC execs tubes of lipstick in protest of the show’s cancellation.

*Note that Kim Raver, a star of Lipstick Jungle, and Bonnie Hammer, NBC top dog, ARE BOTH BU ALUMS*

Well, sitting in the fourth row in the Barnes & Noble, gazing longingly at one of few favorite authors of mine WHO STILL LIVES (I mourn for Oscar Wilde), I swore I recognized this lanky blonde in Manolos. Trying to place the face, I was very proud when I recognized THE AUTHOR OF LIPSTICK JUNGLE, THE AUTHOR OF SEX AND THE CITY, THE CREATOR OF THE CHARACTER CARRIE BRADSHAW: CANDACE BUSHNELL. The woman single-handedly transformed every female of my generation with that character, no question.

Naturally, after the Q&A, when the book signing began, I shook until Greg finally pushed me to GET THE FOLLOWING…

and then Sir Ellis was AMAZING and so great in taking every single question, and signing every single book, and so obviously the adult that his young 20-year-old partying self wouldn’t expect! He signed all of the books I dragged for him and personalized them according to my wackjob demands, and HE WAS GLORIOUS AND SO KIND AND I LOVE HIM, and though I could never do the experience blogging justice, KNOW THAT BRET EASTON ELLIS WAS CHARMING AND BRILLIANT AND GENIUS.

end. love.

_____________

Interview magazine had more EPIC quotes from Sir Ellis, including some faves:

On the movie adaptation of Less Than Zero: I was 22, I really wasn’t paying attention. I knew a couple girls who had slept with the director and that’s the only thing I knew about the movie. I had no idea what was going on on-set. I had two friends of mine that had slept with Marek Kanievska. I was like really? You did? But I was lost in my own world, going to parties, I really wasn’t that interested. Before it came out I got a call from Marek and his assistant said, “Marek wants to meet you for a drink because he knows Fox is showing you the movie tonight.” I said okay. Sure. I’m gonna meet Marek and go to another party or something. He asked to meet at Nell’s at like five in the afternoon, which is not a good sign. So I walked in to Nell’s at five in the afternoon and there’s Marek, really, really drunk. He’s the only person in the place, slumped over the bar.

McCarthy interjects: You should have seen him on the set.

Ellis continues: Well, that might have been why when I stood over the table and he looked up at me, he said, “I’m so sorry. So sorry.” I said, “What are you sorry about, dude?” He said, “No, the movie didn’t work out, I just want you to be prepared when you see it later tonight.” And I said, “Oh. Oh.” I remember [the orignal] script opening with a bunch of parachuters dressed like Santa Claus’ jumping out of a plane and parachuting into L.A. That gave me pause. But it was more faithful to the book than the ultimate screenplay that was used. ”

_______________

follow me! @ValentinaMonte