"No letting go. No holding back." - Wayne Wonder, No Letting Go
Tiny Ladies in Shiny Pants by Jill Soloway (Free Press). I have three other books to review that I finished before this one but Jill must come first. I've talked about her before. Ms. Soloway is smart and challenging and crazy funny and this collection of essays -- a kind of autobiography -- was my best friend throughout my trip to New York. Tiny Ladies in Shiny Pants is more amusing to me than similar books in the genre like David Sidaris's Me Talk Pretty One Day (which I do really enjoy) or Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim (which I didn't finish) because her perspective is closer to people in my life.
She's a brainy chick with a filthy mouth working in the entertainment industry and living in LA and loving it. She has odd tales of love and sex and is passionate about the way of the world and the world for women. She watches reality tv. Hell, she lives down the street from Real World Seattle's Rebecca (of local band Becky) who is among my most favorite of the real world kids to work with. I felt a lot of synergy while reading Jill's book.
The essays themselves go down smooth. Black was Beautiful -- which, oddly, is also her Holocaust chapter -- is my second favorite in the book. It recounts Jill's experience growing up on the South side of Chicago where she and her sister are the only White and Jewish kids in an increasingly all-Black community and how that informs her identity today. I can relate having often been the only black kid in the classroom growing up (and still often being the only black person in the room). Come for that but stay for Found My Way in LA and Lesbo Island which both make me smile.
I think what I want you to think about when you go buy Tiny Ladies and read it is that hopefulness. It is this mixture of passion and anger and sex and doubt and candor but all laced with this overwhelming humor about what life is. Maybe working on a show about death will do that to ya.
Give you hope.
I'd love to ask her about it in more depth but I doubt I'll get the chance. I'm pretty sure I don't get access to Lesbo Island.