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Beauty Talk & Monsters (Native Agents)by Masha Tupitsyn
Synopses & Reviews
Masha Tupitsyn's Beauty Talk & Monsters is a debut collection of stories told through the movies. Equally influenced by Brian De Palma and Kathy Acker, Tupitsyn revisits the ruins of a childhood and youth nurtured on the fringe of the glittering lower Manhattan art world and the Atlantic haven of Provincetown in the 1980s. Moving fluidly through space, time, and a range of cinematic frameworks, Tupitsyn cuts through the cynical glamour and illusion of Hollywood to a soft, secret heart.Her narrator, a female loner and traveler, is caught in the maelstrom of films and images, where life is experienced through the eye of a camera lens and seen through the light on the screen. In a precise and elegant style, Beauty Talk & Monsters embraces and confronts a lineage of familiar myths and on- and off-screen cinematic excess in order to challenge the silver screen's century of power over our dreams and ideals. Intimate and intellectual, Tupitsyn's stories play with the cinema's most popular icons and images.
"Tupitsyn, a film critic and former assistant literary editor of Bomb, tosses tosses her never-quite-named (but seemingly consistent) female narrator between ages, cities and especially men in this lovely, unconventional debut, but gives her an unalloyed solace in the form of cinema. As the book moves from vignette-like monologuge to monologue, the men vary in their words and looks-one is 'many versions of earth tones,' another is 'sneaky and bony...the color of a sweet potato'-but almost always do the same thing: leave. The narrator's salvation and distraction are consistently found in film: she sees one lover through the prism of Mean Streets; wonders if her neediness equates her to the shark in Jaws; and riffs on the macho pull of Jack Nicholson or potential insecurities of Tom Cruise. She's also fascinated with the idea of beauty and societal perceptions of women, famous and not, and shares her thoughts on cultural touchstones like Nicole Kidman's aesthetic trajectory (once 'a feral garden, now a sewing kit'). Other pieces here deftly blend real and imagined Hollywood, film theory and thematic narrative, as in 'Kleptomania,' where the narrator looks on as Judy Garland, Diane Keaton and Tippi Hedren's Hitchcock character, 'Marnie,' compare notes on their lives in a bar. The more experimental pieces will be buttery popcorn for silver-screen junkies, but the more traditional, detail-rich stories (like 'The Ghost of Berlin') make a narrator who's waiting for 'someone or something to stick' memorable." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
A collection of stories told through the movies that revisits the lower Manhattan art world and the Atlantic haven of Provincetown in the 1980s.
About the Author
Masha Tupitsyn was born in New York City. In 2004, Masha Tupitsyn worked as an assistant literary editor at BOMB Magazine. She has received numerous fellowships and awards, and most recently, her forthcoming story, "Houses (Or The Uncanny Glows in The Dark)" was a 2005 finalist for the Panliterary Award for Fiction, sponsored by Drunken Boat Magazine. Her fiction and film criticism has been published or is forthcoming in Five Fingers Review, Unpleasant Event Schedule, Me Three, Monkey Bicycle, and Nth Position.
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