3 New Books About Going Under Fame’s Microscope
Do you want to be known? How much? Fame and exposure are funny beasts. Many people long for exposure, only to die of it. That’s because putting yourself out there can have huge consequences; once people know you, it’s hard to control how they perceive or react to you. The characters in these three new books in this week’s book club go under the microscope in various ways and get more than they bargained for. It’s not all bad — it can be fun to be known. But it’s a challenge not everyone can pass.
In 2013, VICE columnist Megan Boyle began a grand experiment. She decided to lay herself bare on Tumblr and write down absolutely everything that happened to her, including her actions and as many thoughts as she could record. Nothing was too personal: not bodily functions, not illegal drug use, nor perceived personal failings and insecurities. (In that vein, all errors are preserved on the page for the most authentic experience.) Her life was completely raw and exposed to the world, and people started to respond; they found the candid, unfiltered aspect of her record resonant and even fascinating.
“My psychic medium told me it was just a matter of time. Although Madame Clara didn’t elaborate on the details and said that her timelines might be a trifle off, she was absolutely positive that 2009 would be the year, confirmed by the Ouija board spirit enumerating 009. Well, that was good enough for me, Kiri De Uwana, diva divine! The bright lights were going to be downright dazzling…By the way, my name is Gilbert Eugene Rose. Although I don’t advertise my place of birth, I hail from the side of Atlantic City sans glamour. Except for music, my childhood was a perpetual winter, one I hurried through with desperate speed. Being a gay boy and, I modestly confess, a beauty – blond hair the color of sunlight, dark blue eyes like glittering jewels, fair skin perfect as cream, and refined features (nothing too large or too small, ahem!) – I was shunned by the girls because they were jealous and taunted by the boys because I was not sufficiently rough and tumble, though a little tumble now and then held occasional appeal.”
Hank Green, brother of John Green (yes, that John Green, of The Fault in Our Stars fame) and co-creator of SciShow, Crash Course, and Vlogbrothers, continues to make a name for himself in this debut novel about a young artist who is thrust into fame after finding an alien. April May is a calendar-named 23-year-old bi woman who’s using her arts degree to do graphic design 16 hours a day at a soulless New York startup. Her very familiar story changes drastically when, one night, she finds what she thinks is a huge sculpture on the way back to her office (because, of course, her MetroCard was rejected).