"There are so many cool things going on in Spokane now that I have this overwhelming urge to attend a tractor pull.” Jess Walter has written an addendum to his essay “Statistical Abstract for My Home of Spokane, Washington.”
So, it seems that I am late to the party. Not only am I late to the party, I resisted going because everyone was going and word on the street was so loudly proclaimed, “Best Party of the Year,” that I felt sure I’d be disappointed. But, finally, only one year late (honestly, I am often far more behind than this), I slunk in the door and, low and behold, Jess Walter’s BEAUTIFUL RUINS is indeed bumpin’.
"I read one of those reviews, and it was a very nice review, and then I went to the grocery store. There was a young woman in front of me in line and she was attractive. She had on these really nice jeans and the cuffs were frayed like crazy, like she’d spent a lot of time walking on heels. She was wearing stiletto heels, and she was pretty, with all sorts of piercings and tattoos that came up all the way down to her fingers—glove tattoos. We kind of smile at each other. She sets on the grocery store counter two Red Bulls, a tube of sex lubricant, and a Caramello candy bar. And I remember looking and thinking, I really want to write that story."
I can’t remember a better year of reading. I particularly enjoyed books where women or girls were allowed to be dark and dangerous and fucked up and ‘unlikable.’