Saturday, September 19, 2015

Wednesday Martin

Wednesday Martin's new book is Primates of Park Avenue: A Memoir.

From her Q & A with Jia Tolentino for Jezebel:

How’s it been in the lead-up to your pub date? I read that Page Six piece about Upper East Side housewives “panicking” that they’ll make a surprise appearance.

It’s funny that people are taking that angle, because the book is not a tear-down. It’s not a tell-all that names names. It’s not even a satire, although parts of it are funny. I hate to sound boring, but Primates of Park Avenue is a work about tribal behaviors. I think of it as cultural critique in a lot of ways. It tells a story about motherhood in one very particular context.

Yeah. I think people might be expecting this book to be a hate-read, but you walking a fine line well; you’re sharp but never cutting. You could very easily have absolutely skewered this lifestyle, taken stuff out of context to make people seem hateable. Were you ever tempted to go more on the dishy side?

In my heart, I’m two things. I’m a feminist, and I’m a researcher who’s interested in the lives of women worldwide, particularly women with children. This has always been my way of seeing the world, because it’s what my mother taught me. She was very interested in biology, she was a feminist; I grew up with Gloria Steinem and Jane Goodall as my role models.

So that was buffering me, even in the worst moments when I felt shut out—when women were competitive and aggressive in ways that I felt I couldn’t understand. Because of my training and my background, I always just turned to wanting to figure it out. Really, you can’t set someone up and figure them out at the same time. As funny as their lives might seem to you, you have to
...[read on]
Learn more about Primates of Park Avenue and the author at Wednesday Martin's website.

The Page 99 Test: Stepmonster.

--Marshal Zeringue