Liza Normal, like a million teenagers before her, wants desperately to be famous. If she can't be famous, she'll settle for infamy. But no Pop Idol contest on earth will ever crown someone like Liza, with her spookily vulgar 'vocal stylings' and her stripper's wardrobe. Her wits addled by celebrity culture, the ashes of failed stardom in her mouth, she decides to turn her back on her tinsel dreams and embrace her outsider status with a ferocious purity. COLORS INSULTING TO NATURE is a brazenly hilarious oddysey through teen humiliation: the crushes who spurn her, the revenges gone wrong, and the dawning realization that life doesn't come with a soundtrack that tells you when to laugh and cry or an audience to applaud at the end. Cintra Wilson is a pyrotechic wit – the natural heir to Douglas Coupland and the challenger to Dave Eggers. This novel will have readers howling with laughter and writhing with retrospective embarrassment. She is a staggering talent.Publishers Weekly
Playwright and Salon columnist Wilson made a name for herself four years ago with her essay collection, A Massive Swelling. In her raucous, hilarious debut novel, she covers similar ground: the ugly side of fame and America's unhealthy obsession with celebrity. The dark Gen-X fairy tale follows the adventures of Liza Normal, a would-be starlet with far more ambition than looks or talent. Saddled with a frightening stage mother, Peppy, Liza-"not a girl ruled by the logic of self-preservation"-endures humiliation after humiliation as she acts in an unintentionally campy family musical, turns punk, dates a drug dealer and a washed-up boy band member, goes to rehab and tries unsuccessfully to make it big in Hollywood. The indefatigable Liza finally triumphs in Las Vegas, creating a stage show based on a character from the softcore slash fiction she's written throughout her travails. Wilson goes out on a limb with her verbal extravagance, and readers may find her post-Eggers postmodern asides to the audience (whom she calls "Young Readerlings") and fancy fonts a bit too-too. But her spirited sendup of celebrity worship is laugh-out-loud funny.