PDX author Chelsea Cain (also known as Calendar Girl in The O’s A&E for you non-literary types) wrote a snarky review about Terry McMillan’s latest book – ‘The Interruption of Everything’: You Go on a Diet, Girl! – in The New York Times last week.
But as fellow author Jennifer Weiner points out on her blog – well, you blow right past snark and right into insulting when you get a key detail wrong – the detail that your headline hinges on, no less. From the lead:
MARILYN GRIMES, the narrator of Terry McMillan’s shrug of a novel, is an upper-middle-class black woman struggling with female problems. Specifically, she’s 44 with a 44-inch waist.
Whoops – that 44-inch waist? Nonexistent. Move the tape measure down a few inches and you’ll be in the right territory. Right next to the hips of millions of other women who wear a size 14/16.
I’ve read great reviews of Chelsea’s books (including The O, of course, which won’t surprise anyone), so they’re on my to-read list, just out of curiosity. And I definitely skirt the edges of snark myself from time to time (and have landed on my posterior with similar gaffes, to be fair.)
But that snarky, dismissive tone that makes Calendar Girl such a painful read (try this one on for size, along with my own way-too-over-the-top reply) – coupled with that slip of the hips – just might have bitten Chelsea in her oh-so-diminutive (one hopes, for her sake) rear.
In the New York Times, no less…