Brooklyn Bookbeat: Carroll Gardens writer praises ‘Messy Lives’
Brooklynite Katie Roiphe has long been known for her courageous writing, whether in the form of personal essays or cultural and literary criticism. Since the publication of “The MorningAfter: Fear, Sex and Feminism” in 1994, Roiphe’s work has regularly been described as thought-provoking and bold. Her newest book is no exception.
“In Praise of Messy Lives,” Roiphe’s collection of essays published this past fall, includes a stringent critique of the provincial conventions that shape contemporary culture in America. Roiphe examines several topics, including society’s treatment of single mothers and its obsession with Facebook and Mad Men.
Roiphe does not shy away from assessing her own life; she is as self-aware as she is critical of popular culture, and her essays include autobiographical snippets that analyze her personal life – a “messy life” – including her divorce and her role as a mother.
Roiphe is introspective even in discussing her own writing. In the introduction to “In Praise of Messy Lives,” she admits, “In life I will go very far out of my way to avoid any possible conflict or argument, so it is a little surprising that in my essays I often seem to pick fights, and to offend or otherwise enrage people.” Roiphe’s newest book promises to be a provocative, absorbing and culturally relevant read.
Katie Roiphe is the author of “The Morning After: Fear, Sex and Feminism” and “Uncommon Arrangements: Seven Portraits of Married Life in London Literary Circles 1910 – 1939,” among other books. She has a Ph.D. in literature from Princeton University and is a professor at the Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute at New York University. She is a columnist for Slate and her writing has been published in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Paris Review, and Tin House, among other publications. She lives in Brooklyn with her children.
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