Tuesday, January 17th, 2012...3:45 pm

#158: Defy Expectations

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As How Not To Act Old dictates go, this one is a tad sanctimonious, a bit fifty-and-fantabulous, a little “Yeah, you old, but you still got the mojo, Mama!”

And you know, we don’t buy that bullshit around here. We’re all about: Sure, we’re a little bit wiser, but our tits are saggy and we need gum surgery and this kinda blows. I mean, we may be in denial, but we’re not insane.

I have a selfish agenda, though, which is to get you all to run out and buy my new novel, The Possibility of You, which you can preorder (very good for me) or buy at a bookstore as of February 28 (also very good for me), and really, it’s very good for you too, because you already know you love me, and this is the best book I’ve ever written, and I promise you’re going to eat it up.

Unless you’re a guy, in which case, probably not so much.  Though you could possibly earn yourself some good-enough sex tonight if you buy a copy for your wife.

So where else does the “Defy expectations” part come in?

It comes in when I tell people about Possibility and the first thing they ask me is: “Is it funny?” And I gotta tell you, No, it’s not funny. It’s “complex and compelling and compulsively readable,” according to Pulitzer Prize winning novelist Geraldine Brooks, whose latest novel is Caleb’s Crossing. Peggy Orenstein, New York Times Magazine columnist and author of Cinderella Ate My Daughter, called it “deeply satisfying and enjoyable and juice.” But alas, not funny.

You see, I’m defying expectations here. Not doing what I did before, i.e. not acting old. I wrote a bunch of other novels, like Younger, that were entertaining and yes, even funny. But I wanted to write a novel that was more serious, that was at least partly historical, that had an operatic story and and a complicated plot, and so I spent five years working on The Possibility of You, for no money and with no certainty that it would ever be published.

So I’m pretty damn proud of that and hopeful, too, sending my book out into the world, and also terrified that I took this huge risk that may not pay off, because everybody wants me to write funny, and this time, I didn’t.

I do have another funny book coming out in September from Bloomsbury, called Rabid: Are You Crazy About Your Dog or Just Crazy? I guarantee that HNTAO fans are going to love that one. And in May, Glamour magazine is publishing a book version of my infamous list, 30 Things Every Woman Should Have & Should Know By The Time She’s 30, with introduction and epilogue and some other stuff by me, which you can all buy for your daughters.

But The Possibility of You?  That one’s for you.  And isn’t reading a great novel the most fun you can have without laughing?

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