Tacky: Love Letters to the Worst Culture We Have to Offer

Rax King. Vintage, $15.95 trade paper (208p) ISBN 978-0-593-31272-8
“As far as I’m concerned, tackiness is joyfulness,” writes Catapult columnist King in her charming debut essay collection. Across 14 pieces that examine media artifacts tacky and tackier, King plumbs her own history to explore her—and society’s—relationship to pop culture. In “Never Fall in Love at the Jersey Shore,” the author bonds with her ailing father over reality TV, while, in “Love, Peace, and Taco Grease,” she revels in the “technicolor majesty” of Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives and reflects on the aftermath of her relationship with her abusive ex-husband. King balances her desire to understand her own past with an examination of America’s cultural propensity for the tawdry; in an essay on the oft-maligned band Creed, for instance, she argues in favor of allowing oneself to embrace intense feeling and comes clean about her unwillingness to admit her love for the band publicly, writing, “I’d waved goodbye to sincerity too early.” The emotion that runs throughout makes for a powerful antidote to jaded nonchalance: “I hope that people learn how to have a fun time with the things they love, even the silly-seeming ones, before it’s too late.” King’s witty, conversational dip into nostalgia is a delight. (Nov.)
Reviewed on : 08/26/2021
Release date: 11/02/2021
Genre: Nonfiction
Book - 1 pages - 978-0-593-31273-5
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