August 09, 2007
The Devil, The Lovers, and Me
Disclaimer: I know Kimmi Auerbach. I have eaten her truly divine mushroom lasagna. I have reveled in her otherworldy laugh. I have taught her the electric slide in all its myriad variations.
And so I don’t claim objectivity on this week’s selection, just a genuine conviction that the book Kimmi has just published—The Devil, The Lovers, and Me: My Life in Tarot—might just change your life. At the very least, it will be a fabulous break from whatever depressing reading you are forcing yourself to do at this very moment. That’s right, put down the WSJ. Pick up Kimmi.
You see Kimmi is not your academic feminist or your better-than-thou literary writer. She is, instead, a girl who was stuck working at Fox News, hating herself for being the girl at the party who said, like a broken record every year, “I’m working on my one woman show,” a girl who wanted a boy who wanted to want her. There is a lot, as you might imagine, to relate to in her story.
Through the narrative vehicle of tarot card readings from a wise old lady named Iris, Kimmi begins to look at her past as a window into her current desires. Her journey back takes us to the kind of moments that were probably horrifying at the time but make for damn good comedy in retrospect.
Exhibit A: the time she got crabs from an Argentinean painter and then brought a sample to the pharmacist to make sure. Exhibit B: the time she wrote “she bops” on her junior high student council campaign poster not knowing it was slang for masturbating. Exhibit C: her long stint as the Le Clique girl for her father’s company (see pictures).
There are also moments of profound seriousness; facing her brother’s illness and her mother’s history of being sexually abused are both critical pieces of this memoir.
Kimmi is a performer (big hit at the moth for those of you who are familiar with that awesome storytelling tradition), so the writing is fast, easy, and almost always funny. It also treads on the spiritual, and by this I mean that Kimmi’s journey leads to some fairly deep insights about mindfulness, desire, family, self-awareness, femaleness etc.
My favorite part of reading this and recommending it, is that I know Kimmi to be a true reflection of her work. Unlike so many authors who are—well, how do I put this nicely— hypocrites, Kimmi truly is someone who has been through a process of rigorous self-discovery and come out on the other side pretty effing wise.
Oh, and by the way, it is Kimmi’s 35th birthday today, so don’t hesitate to become her friend on MySpace and drop her a happy birthday wish.
Next week: female and frivolous-ishness August continues with Death by Chick Litby Lynn Harris.