Written by: Alice Bolin
Publish date: June 26
Why it's worth reading: From its title, you know that Dead Girls carries a heavy premise -- this is an essay collection about our cultural obsession with dead, abused, and objectified women. It’s cultural analysis, but an accusation, too, specifically one leveled at American culture and everyone who partakes in it. Why are we fascinated by watching women die onscreen, and by the stories of men who are obsessed with them? Bolin links Twin Peaks, Serial, Pretty Little Liars, and more to construct a theory of The Dead Girl, where a pristine victim becomes a symbol, a stand-in, and, often enough, a justification for more violence. But Dead Girls isn’t all analysis; it’s introspective narrative, too, as Bolin deftly interweaves her own coming-of-age in LA with her investigations of our cultural compulsions. Because as a girl herself, very much alive, Bolin has to think about her place in all this. She doesn’t wish for her own Dead Girl Story, of course, but she can’t help wondering about it, too.