Up from Los Angeles is cultural critic Carina Chocano with her spot-on new book of essays, You Play the Girl: On Playboy Bunnies, Stepford Wives, Train Wrecks, & Other Mixed Messages (Mariner Books).
"Pop-culture critic Carina Chocano’s smart, colorful, and compelling collection of essays, You Play the Girl, unpacks the ways movies, TV, and advertising sculpt perceptions of who and what women can and cannot be. Chocano achieves the right mix between personal essay and clear-eyed criticism, between high culture and low (discussion of Virginia Woolf leads into the 'Ghostbusters' reboot and the attendant trolls). We get a sense of her formative pop-culture experiences ('The Philadelphia Story'; 'Bewitched'; 'Flashdance') as well as dips into feminist history and the tension between being yourself and being a person people are comfortable with. 'You could choose to be a person or you could choose to be loved,' Chocano writes. It is not a pessimistic collection, but it shows that the myths and narratives of female identity are still in place and largely shaped by men." - The Boston Globe.