Sunday, January 6, 2013

"Fierce and Nerdy": Pretty in Pink meets The Color Purple

32 Candles was an absolute treat for me, and I can't wait to read more by Ernessa T. Carter. Founder and editor of the Fierce and Nerdy blog, Ms Carter delivers a much needed kick in the pants to "chick lit" and African American romance, with a central character who is dark skinned, Southern, nerdy and considers herself ugly. Influenced by Celie in the Alice Walker classic The Color Purple, Carter takes the ugly duckling theme of popular movie romances like 16 Candles and reinterprets them for a black audience. Whereas a gorgeous bridesmaid dress and hipster music gets the guy for Molly Ringwald, learning to love her natural hair, dark skin, and superior smarts is what does it for Davie.
In a recent interview, talking about the Molly Ringwald movies that are such a touchstone for her character Davie, Carter says:

"I found that really interesting that people said they were universal after John Hughes died just because it is so outside of so many people’s experience, but at the same time I think what they really mean when they say [those films] are universal is that the fantasy of it is universal. Everybody wants to have the guy fall head-over-heels for them. They want to get the richest guy in school. That fantasy may be universal, but I don’t necessarily think the experience is universal. "

For some discussion ideas, see the Harper-Collins reading group guide to 32 Candles. See you Tuesday at 7, in our usual spot: the Small Meeting room of EPL!

No comments:

Post a Comment