captured me right from the start. A girl detective with killer fashion sense and Mean Girl-esque snark to match? I was hooked. After I read the first Lulu Dark, I Googled the heck out of everything and was delighted to discover that there was a sequel. And of course I started following author Bennett Madison's, well, everything. His blog, his Twitter, whatever the heck was out there in the technology wasteland of the late 2000s.
Basically I unabashedly, and stalkerishly, became a fan.
A few years later, I went to an author thing in New York and saw Bennett there and maybe said out loud, "Wow, Bennett Madison." I met him and we talked the shared language of X-Men and Wizard of Oz obsession. If you know anything about me, that's pretty much two of my favorite things ever. (I dunno where it went, but Bennett had a short story on Figment that included extensive X-Men references, which I probably should have saved somewhere just to re-read over and over, it was so good.)
I could go on and on about Bennett's lyrical writing voice, his expansive smarts, his winning humor (Q: What's your favorite blonde joke? A: Courtney Love), his iconic hair, but that would just be gushing. Plus embarrassing. Anyway, ever since 2009's Blonde of the Joke -- featuring malls and shoplifting, a rite of passage for every proper young person -- I've been waiting for Bennett to release another book. And now it's here: September Girls.
"When 17-year-old Sam accompanies his older brother and increasingly distracted father to a washed-out beach town for the summer, after his mother inexplicably bails on the family, he expects to spend long hours watching The Price Is Right. What he doesn't expect are legions of gorgeous, though somehow strange blonde 'Girls' (as Sam thinks of them) all eyeing him like he's, well, special. After Sam meets and feels an instant connection with one of the Girls, DeeDee, the summer takes a crazy turn."
I went to see Junot Diaz speak a few weeks ago and something he told the audience was (in reference to a dumb question about Oscar Wao and literary symbolism): "Moby Dick was not about a whale." September Girls is not about mermaids. Or maybe it is. You figure it out. #dracarys
Below are a wealth of Bennett related links. Because the Internet was made for sharing. Take special note of What Cassie Wore, Bennett's short-lived gem of a Tumblr dedicated the timeless character on Skins. You know, before she changed her name to "Gilly" and moved to Westeros to schelp around incest babies. Life beyond The Wall is tougher than it was in Bristol I guess.
Go grab a copy of September Girls. I promise you'll have a time. It'll be an extravaganza.
- Website | @bennettmadison
- Next week: Bennett Madison in conversation with Emily Gould
- September Girls poster by ModHero
- Kirkus Review and Publishers Weekly review
- Bennett Madison: Haunted at 17 (2013)
- The Rejectionist: A Conversation with Bennett Madison (2013)
- LARB: Weetzie Bat Meets the Genie (2012)
- Six Writers Tell All About Covers and Blurbs (2011)
- Cooking the Books: Homemade Cinnabons with Bennett Madison (2009)
- Does an Anti-Gay Character Make (Gay Author) Bennett Madison's Teen Book Homophobic? (2009)
- What Cassie Wore: The Comprehensive Cassie