Thursday, July 10, 2008
Outside of a Dog, #15
Our final column on collections of essays and stories ends with collections of nonfiction by several authors:
Body Outlaws: Young Women Write About Body Image and Identity, edited by Ophira Edut
Name-checked by Carolyn Mackler in "The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things," this edition was previously titled "Adios, Barbie." The women who wrote for this edition write about being fat, being skinny, being tattooed, and all other kinds of body issues. It's serious at times, funny at others.
What If...? The World's Foremost Military Historians Imagine What Might Have Been, edited by Robert Cowley
What if... Alexander the Great had died at 21? Or if America had lost the Revolutionary War? Historians of all stripes get together and have fun suggesting what might have been in this book. There's also a second book, "What If...? 2" with more great essays.
Fired!: Tales of the Canned, Canceled, Downsized, & Dismissed by Annabelle Gurwitch, Bill Maher, Felicity Huffman, and Bob Saget
If you've ever lost a job, or ever been in the workforce at all, this humorous look at now-successful stars (and some regular people) and their previous employment missteps should be a laugh for you. Read about how actress Illeana Douglas got fired from a job hanging coats, and how author Annabelle Gurwitch was dismissed by Woody Allen from a play.
Finding Serenity: Anti-Heroes, Lost Shepherds and Space Hookers in Joss Whedon's Firefly by Jane Espenson and Glenn Yeffeth
Joss Whedon, creator of great shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, and Firefly (and the upcoming Dollhouse), has a legion of fans who made the movie "Serenity" possible after the premature cancellation of his space western television show "Firefly." This book is about the philosophy of that show, written by fans, writers, and producers. There's also a sequel: "Serenity Found: More Unauthorized Essays on Joss Whedon's Firefly Universe", and one for Buffy - "Fear and Trembling in Sunnydale" - too. Look up almost any tv show or movie of the past 25 years and you're likely to find a book exploring the philosophy behind it - even Star Wars and The Simpsons have one!