Tuesday, April 27, 2004
People are so asinine: They persist in finding it ironic that teenage girls may be both intelligent and sad at the same time. Sometimes it's worse if the girl is attractive. "She's so smart and pretty; what the hell does she have to complain about?" The fact that humans tend to reduce one another in this way makes Andrea Seigel's Like the Red Panda all the more welcome. A novel whose main character, Stella Parrish, answers the description above (that is, a smart, pretty, sad teenager), it takes its first-person narrative where stories about girls don't usually go. Seigel's sharp sense of humor and oblique desire to see justice done have gotten the book compared to the 1980s teen flick Heathers and the comedy of Janeane Garofalo; meanwhile, the painful decision Stella feels faced with (should she go to Princeton after graduation or kill herself?) calls to mind the existentialists. Hear the author read at 7 p.m. at A Clean Well-Lighted Place for Books, 601 Van Ness (at Turk), S.F. Admission is free; call 441-6670 or visit www.bookstore.com.
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