cover image Girls Can Kiss Now: Essays

Girls Can Kiss Now: Essays

Jill Gutowitz. Atria, $17 trade paper (240p) ISBN 978-1-982158-50-7

Journalist Gutowitz debuts with an incisive and funny collection of essays on coming of age as a queer woman in the early 2000s. In “One Day, You’ll All Be Gay,” she writes of Lindsay Lohan and Samantha Ronson’s 2008 relationship—they were “ravenously exploited”—and how she was affected by the narrative of a queer female sexuality centered on drugs and mental illness: “I remember thinking: I’m a good student. I come from a great family... I’m not some weak-minded chump, able to be indoctrinated by lesbianism.” In “Kill the Creator of Entourage in Your Head,” she reflects on coming to terms with her sexuality while watching Orange Is the New Black; “The Ten Most Important Sapphic Paparazzi Photos in Modern History” lists “Cara Delevingne and Michelle Rodriguez vaping” and “Janelle Monáe and Lupita Nyong’o grinding at Met Gala afterparty” as key cultural moments; and the slightly more somber “The Beast” considers the superficiality of celebrities through their asinine tweets sent during the pandemic—Kim Kardashian, for example, showed off one of her 14 Friesian horses. Gutowitz blends candid reflections on the experience of being closeted with witty analysis on how the media affects one’s perception of the world. Fans of the personal essay will be eager to see what Gutowitz does next. Agent: Katelyn Dougherty, Paradigm Talent Agency. (Mar.)