I read a lot of crime fiction. Like many avid readers, I look back at the end of the year to see which books made the greatest impression on me and share my top 10 online. This year, I was shocked to realize that this only three of my top ten reads were by women.
I'm a lifelong fan of bestselling mystery writer Laura Lippman, whose character Tess Monaghan stars in stories that are often critical of pop culture. Bitch last talked to Lippman—who's on our National Advisory Board—to mark the release of her book I'd Know You Anywherein 2010. Since then, she has called attention to the lack of media coverage of female writers and I figured it was high time to check in with Lippman, given the release of our Pulp issue. I talked to Lippman the day after she had turned in the manuscript for her new book, about a cop who loves TV.
I'm curious to know: you are obviously a writer and a reader of crime fiction but have you been a lifelong reader of crime fiction? And what are some of the first books you remember reading?
LAURA LIPPMAN: If you say "lifelong reader," that goes back to Encyclopedia Brown and The Happy Hollisters. I was not a big Nancy Drew fan because I have a really low tolerance for perfect people and Nancy is pretty perfect. She's not only perfect, but there are these two other girls, Beth and George, who do nothing but talk about how perfect she is.
I don't identify with someone like that and so I liked Encyclopedia Brown because he was smart but he had to have a girl be his muscle. Do you remember that part?
And for some reason, I liked The Happy Hollisters and Trixie Belden. So, I was always a crime reader. It was something that gave me a lot of pleasure, and it was something about which I was never the ironic —I don't think of it as a guilty pleasure. I don't even really recognize the term "guilty pleasure."
Hi there everyone and welcome to another installment of RetroPop, the guest blog in which I provide mashups of thematically similar female-performed Billboard charting radio tunes and great feminist works from the past and say, "WOW, you're both making some nifty and sorta related social commentaries! How about that?!"
Today I'd like to spread my arms in a big bear-hug embrace for two of my favorite artist ladies hot on the manhunt (different kinds) and ask another question: "WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN ALL MY LIFE?!"
How can you go wrong with a smart, sexy, funny, uncompromisingly feminist, just-insecure-enough-to-make-you-relate-to-her journalist-turned-sleuth with a cat named Louise Bryant and a neighbor who hallucinates transvestite orgies?