Props to ‘Prada’
Over the holidays I actually managed to find time to finish a couple good books. Still Live With June is a quick read by Darren Greer about a gay fiction writer who mines stories from the lives of “losersâ€ť at the Salvation Army treatment center where he works for ideas. It’s nothing earth shaking but is a fun study of writing about the process of writing without getting pretentious about the subject—I’m so tired of authors who make you hyper aware that they’re writing a novel; just give me the story already and skip the intellectual masturbation. I really flew through The Devil Wears Prada, though, a “fictionalized accountâ€ť of working at Vogue, which here is thinly disguised as Runway magazine. Author Lauren Weisberger writes about slaving as an assistant to a crazy bitch editor at the world’s most prominent fashion magazine. This is a world where designers send clothing worth the down payment on a new home to Runway’s queen bee for free; where getting the wrong latte or eating lunch at your desk can get you fired. Weisberger stirred up a lot of shit when the book first came out, as it became clear very quickly that she was describing Vogue’s Anna Wintour—who the author worked for as an assistant before writing this book. I’m sure tongues will wag all over again when Prada becomes a movie (check out this Radar item about Wintour attempting to control participation in the movie). Having worked at glossy pop culture magazines nowhere near the prestige of Runway/Vogue but with every bit of the insane prima donna boss running things, I loved Weisberger’s depictions of getting lured into a world spiked with superficial rewards that simultaneously saps your soul at an alarming rate. If you love Vogue, the high stakes fashion/print world, or just reading a really juicy, gossipy novel, grab a copy of Prada for yourself.