Marc Acito Recommends

“While many authors have been touted as the next David Sedaris, only Susan Gilman deserves the mantle,” Acito says. “Gilman’s new book, Hypocrite in a Pouffy White Dress: Tales of Growing Up Groovy and Clueless is both laugh out loud funny and touchingly poignant. Whether she’s describing an encounter with a Maharishi who looks like “a lawn troll in drag,” or her teen obsession with Mick Jagger (“Where were the magazines for 15 year old girls in love with British bi-sexual coke-heads, thank you?”), Gilman’s delightfully warped perspective abounds. An unapologetic sexual hedonist (“Being told to ‘wait until marriage’ was like being ordered to hold our breath for twelve years”) she weaves hilarious tales of a youth misspent “staggering around bars in lace stockings and leather jackets, then coming home with toilet paper stuck to our shoes,” as well as working in a series of dead-end jobs (“like terminal illnesses”) that make you wince with recognition. Ultimately, however, it is Gilman’s razor-sharp intelligence and smart-mouth feminism that leaves you thinking well after the laughter fades.”

Marc Acito’s first novel, How I Paid for College, A Novel of Sex, Theft, Friendship and Musical Theater was named an Editor’s Choice by both the New York Times and Advocate Magazine. A film adaptation of his teenage tale of disorganized crime is in the works at Columbia Pictures.