Today The Awl summed up in 71 words the eyebrow-arching fluff that was this weekend’s NYTBR piece on Emily Gould and Sloane Crosley. Two young women in the city of New York write books about being young women in the city of New York…so? I usually jump at any whiff of the words “female,” “city,” and “memoir,” but this review was just…odd. I was puzzled the first time around, when Emily Gould, ex-Gawkerite, got a full NYT Magazine article about, well, herself. Something about how she cheated on her boyfriend? It wasn’t memorable, and it wasn’t New York Times worthy, I thought. Now, in this book review Maria Russo counts in Gould’s favor that “she’s a looker,” (excuse me?) and by the end of the article, all she and Sloane Crosley have in common are, well, the exact points The Awl makes: they have vaginas. They’re young and live in a city. They wrote books about themselves.
My biggest sticking point, though: Russo remarks, “After nearly a decade of New York life Gould is sadder but, she insists, no wiser.” For serious? I’m coming up on nine years in New York and am certainly both happier and wiser than the 18 year old girl who first arrived here. Maybe it’d be different if I came here in my twenties with a B.A. from some Northeast school instead of plowing head first into the city, but even so–she sounds dismal. If the media is truly this interested in first person accounts of what it means to be a young woman in the city of New York, I’ve got a few stories to tell.