Whip-Smart: Rocker Liz Phair Scores Two-Book Deal

Liz Phair with group (2010), photo by Incase via Wikimedia Commons

Editor's Note:

Also in the news: Will it always be “too soon” for The Punisher? And why are so many classic kid lit stars so eccentric? Welcome to your Daily Blunt.

Those who came of age in the ’90s will rejoice at the news that a two-book deal has just been extended to outspoken rocker Liz Phair. The first will be a memoir entitled Horror Stories, which purports to focus on “heartbreak, motherhood, and everything in between.” Details about the second book remain far over the horizon, but Phair should have no shortage of material: she’s still out there performing, touring, and meeting her public on social media.

If recent incidents have made it too sensitive a time to debate new gun control legislation, perhaps it’s also bad timing for a reboot of The Punisher. Netflix is stuck with finding ways to promote its new series during a moment when it’s likely to strike the sourest possible note with fans — Wired goes even further, pointing out that there’s never really been much as escapism in the source material to begin with, at least compared to other superhero comics. “The Punisher’s modus operandi of channeling his frustration through firearms means he ends up representing—or at least reminding people of—real-world issues,” they observe, “Whether his creators want to admit it or not.” Meanwhile, Vulture explores why the hero (and new series) are likely to be a bigger hit than ever with cops and military personnel.

Ever notice how authors of children’s books seem much more likely to be… shall we say, eccentric? The BBC takes a look back at stars of kid lit to show how their personality quirks have informed their canon, as well as the public’s acceptance of adults whose are still capable of thinking like children. Another thing many of them seem to have in common: a greater sense of kinship with animals than humans. There’s also this sad tidbit to consider: “Contrary to the notion that children’s authors don’t grow up, so many of the best of them seem never to have had the chance to be children in the first place.”

It’s doubtful you’ve ever heard of Lillian Maxine Serett’s 1960 manual for female pleasure, The Housewife’s Handbook on Selective Promiscuity, because the US government rounded up and destroyed nearly every single copy, even jailing its publisher. Broadly provides the background for these remarkable events, as well as an epilogue, including the detail that Serett’s eldest daughter ended up releasing an ebook of the Handbook in 2011, which remains the only version available today: “Unbelievably, it is still banned 57 years on.”