Friday, February 13, 2009

Jennifer Blowdryer: How to Write the Great American Novel on Food Stamps

On Jewcy, I interview Jennifer Blowdryer, who might be my favorite person in the world who ever made me inadvertently homeless. Two days before I was supposed to get to New York City and rent her (swoon) East Village apartment for two months -- a block from the Bowery Poetry Club, two from ABC No Rio, and right down the street from the most amazing graffiti in the country -- she told me that some Long Island girl in a bar had offered to pay her five times the going cost.

Somehow, with her writing and her sense of humor, I was okay with that. Eventually.

Okay enough to cover her new and hilarious short novel, The Laziest Secretary in the World, for Jewcy:

Jennifer Blowdryer revels in those truths about ourselves that we'd rather not hear. While that is ostensibly the job of every writer, few do it with such grace, aplomb, and lack of restraint. Part Emily Post and part Morton Downey, Jr., Blowdryer's subjects are punk-rock Artful Dodgers and Malcom MacLaren-worthy bastards, lovable and loathable in equal doses, people who take a free drink when they're given one and scam one when they're not.

The protagonist of her latest book, The Laziest Secretary in the World, is named Latoya (she's white). She's alternately pathetic and brilliant, a powerhouse at drinking, social analysis, and anything that involves the bottom-most echelon of pop culture. Latoya could write for McSweeney's but instead makes fun of tabloid celebrities. She daydreams of the limitless variety of frozen dinners, having an unlimited cash flow, and of being interviewed on a daytime talk show, answering difficult questions with, "Merv, even if I had a million dollars, I would still buy Butterfingers and M&Ms. I mean, what could possibly replace them?"


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