Is the fuckmeboot photo really necessary?

Sharon, the more active half of Word Up, sent me an email this afternoon about literary hot shit Marisha Pessl, author of Special Topics in Calamity Physics, and her latest appearance in the New York Times, looking super-sultry in a photo accompanying a piece about, ummm, I guess the paint set her hedge fund manager husband gave her?

The first couple grafs attempt to provide some semblance of a literary/philosophical tone in frameworking why painting appeals to Pessl — “When things are not relative, we can’t say, know or grasp what they are…Why else has the word ‘like’ become an all-purpose teenage interjection of approximation and uncertainty?” — but the whole thing’s more of a… I’ll just transcribe the quick email exchange:

SHARON: I still love the book, but I’m starting to get really annoyed. I wonder how many people she knows at the NYT to get all this attention!

Is that fuckmeboot photo really necessary?

NINA: Gross me out the door! Honestly, I just said ewww outloud. For real, doesn’t it sort of belittle a “serious” writer to have a piece about some present her rich-ass husband gave her? I mean, I get it that it’s great to be, you know, all hot and stuff for selling books, but I wonder if she isn’t a little worried that people MIGHT take her a little less seriously as a writer. Despite everyone saying how great the book is, I don’t think I could open it now without picturing her languishing in an armchair in four-inch knee-high boots, or “slash painting” or whatever the fuck.

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