A Mom Grows In Brooklyn
Former New York magazine Mating columnist Amy Sohn has progressed from sex talk to strollers in her new satirical novel Prospect Park West. Sohn skewers the bourgeois culture of Brooklyn’s Park Slope neighborhood with the tale of four desperate housewives during a scorcher of a summer. First, there’s Melora Leigh—an Oscar-winning actress, who, under the pressure of her professional and personal lives, finds relief in Zoloft and perfecting the art of kleptomania. Rebecca Rose finds herself trapped in her sexless marriage, leading to her heavy flirtation with a celebrity neighbor. There’s also Lizzie O'Donnell, a recovering lesbian (or, as Sohn dubs her, a “hasbian”) who still has a wandering eye for the same sex, despite the precious baby and charming musician husband waiting for her at home. And rounding out the group is neurotic Purell addict Karen Bryan Shapiro, whose life is a balance of shielding her 4-year-old son from the world and closing the deal on a new co-op apartment. Unlike Carrie, Miranda, Charlotte, and Samantha, these women are not bonded by friendship, but by their rejection of glamorized and suffocating housewifery. Sarah Jessica Parker and HBO are bringing Prospect Park West to the small screen in a half-hour series. You’ll need something stronger than a cosmo to keep up with this stroller set.
A Time-Traveling Singer
Although Norwegian singer-songwriter Sondre Lerche just released his fifth studio album and has been working in the music industry for a decade, his name is unfamiliar to most. While you may have heard his voice on the soundtrack to Steve Carell’s Dan in Real Life, the 27-year-old artist is trying his hand at something new, yet still reassuringly familiar, with his latest orchestral pop album, Heartbeat Radio. In his latest effort, Lerche samples from the assortment of musical genres and eras he’s been exposed to over the years—from folk and rock to soul and even a smattering of hip-hop. The often ethereal musician knows how to create the kind of album that has a track to suit any mood and the purity of his voice remains timeless.
Tim Burton's Dark New Universe
The new Tim Burton-produced animated film 9 hit theaters this week on an appropriately gimmicky release date: 09/09/09. Set in an apocalyptical future filled with mutilated burlap Beanie Babies called “stitchpunks,” 9 is the dark story of the aftermath of machines rising up and taking over the world. Elijah Wood voices the title character and with the help of fellow freakish rag dolls (brought to life by John C. Reilly, Jennifer Connelly, and the creepy-even-in-voiceover Crispin Glover), the stitchpunks take on the contraptions in a typical man vs. machine battle. And being a Tim Burton movie, this far more sinister WALL-E is the type of sci-fi animated action that will have you captivated and eventually moved, despite the eerie depiction of post-humankind.