She’s (almost) all that

I go to a lot of author readings where the writer is introduced with a bio that goes something like this: “Ms. All That graduated from Harvard and has written numerous books, several of which have been included on the New York Times bestseller list. She is the winner of a National Book Award and most recently, a MacArthur Foundation “genius grant.” She has also written for Vanity Fair, The Atlantic Monthly, and, and is a regular contributor to NPR. She teaches creative writing at NYU and is an expert on Vermeer as well as fashion in the Renaissance Age. She’s also a veterinarian in her spare time.”


You’ve probably been to lectures where the speaker was introduced in a similar way—a litany of work, awards and distinctions that make you wonder when the person buys their yogurt or bathes. I went to one such reading this week—I won’t mention the author because she was lovely and deserved the accolades—but just when I felt like this Super Woman was making the rest of us look like slackers, I gave her the once over and took solace in the fact that at least she can’t dress herself to save her life.

Ms. All That, it turns out, wore all black in a way that was not as chic as it sounds: a long drapey garment and shapeless sweater with black pants an inch too short and black loafers. Loafers. Come on, throw on the heels! It would be interesting to go to a reading where the author shows up not in comfortable shoes and a cardigan, but in strappy heels and a knockout dress. Let’s raise the level of readings, people.

Anyway, I may not be all that, but at least my outfits are cute.


3 thoughts on “She’s (almost) all that

  1. It’s how you write, of course. But when faced with a barrage of bio greatness that reminds you that you haven’t penned bestsellers or won a genius grant, a bit of smugness helps, no?

  2. Hmm…I think there are very few writers who can afford to be too proud/arrogant these days.

    You see, I still seem to meet many more people who play Grand Theft Auto than people who read. So all these genius-grant-winning authors must be doing something fundamentally wrong! 😉

    Re: this particular author’s clothes, at least basic black isn’t the worst of all fashion sins. She might’ve worn light jeans, after all.

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