Book review: In Praise of Messy Lives, By Katie Roiphe


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The Independent Culture

Having "two children, with two different fathers, neither of whom I am living with", this New York professor of journalism concedes that "my own life… is a little messy".

Ranging from the "vanished grandeur" of the sex-obsessed "Great Male Novelists" (Roth, Updike, Mailer) to a commendation of the three-Martini-lunch lifestyle of Mad Men ("We have… one very short life, it might be good to make sure we are living it"), this book is "a defence, celebration and interrogation" of messiness.

Roiphe offers an edgy, subversive critique of this dreary era.