Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Trailer Park Tuesday: 13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl by Mona Awad

Welcome to Trailer Park Tuesday, a showcase of new book trailers and, in a few cases, previews of book-related movies.

Today, I give you two ways of looking at Mona Awad. In the first trailer, the author of the new novel 13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl goes undercover at one of America’s best independent bookstores, Tattered Cover in Denver. There, posing as three different booksellers, her mission is to find the perfect book for befuddled bookstore browsers. It’s no spoiler to say that of course the “perfect” book turns out to be Awad’s debut novel in each case. Sure, it’s predictable and has as much cheddar as a bag of Cheet-os, but I’ve watched the video four times now and I always end up with a smile on my face because Awad is so danged charming and witty. It certainly makes me want to put 13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl at the top of my To-Be-Read listwhich, of course, is the goal of every book trailer, amiright?

The second video is just as warm and inviting as Awad introduces herself to librarians. Filmed for the Early Word website, this short trailer begins with the author (playing herself this time) recommending three of her own favorite reads: The Winter’s Tale by William Shakespeare, The Torn Skirt by Rebecca Godfrey, and the novels of Jean Rhys. If nothing else, Awad sent me scurrying to my own shelves to hunt down a copy of Wide Sargasso Sea. As of this date, it is unread. Thanks to Awad’s nudge, I will change that soon...after I read 13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girlwhich Awad also talks about at the end of this video. The book, she explains, “is about loneliness, loss, friendship. It’s kind of a coming-of-age book in some ways, and it’s especially about the act of looking at someone and the experience of being looked at, and just how much that can affect the way we see ourselves and the way that we are in the world.”

Still need more convincing to pick up a copy of 13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl? Not too long ago, Electric Literature posted one of the stories, which you can read for free at their website. It was introduced by Laura van den Berg who said, “The story doesn’t let up. It keeps pushing its narrator, and thus the reader, into increasingly dark and thorny and risky territory.” Come join me: let’s go exploring.

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