Welcome back to the NYLON Book Club! Our September selection is Chelsea Martin’s Caca Dolce: Essays from a Lowbrow Life.
I’ve never had more fun when describing a book than I do with Caca Dolce, and that’s undoubtedly because it’s kind of impossible to accurately describe what it’s about. (Though I’ve certainly attempted to do exactly that here.) But here’s what reading it feels like: That rush you get after T.P.ing a neighbors house in the middle of the night. That creepy feeling you have the first time you use a Ouija board with friends and it seems to be saying something to you and you’re not doing anything to control the outcome—this time, anyway. That sensation you have when you have made a totally arbitrary, definitely nonsensical decision in your life—like that you’re never going to use spoons again—but you stick with it because it’s your decision, and that has to mean something, right?
All of this is to say, Caca Dolce is a strange, candid, often hilarious look into Martin’s life, dating back to when she was a young child who mistakenly thought she’d had sex with her similarly-aged cousin. (We’ve all been there, right?) Part of the beauty of this book is that Martin is brutally fearless in how she depicts many of the... if not ugly exactly, then at least banal parts of growing up; those times when you feel like you might just be one of the aliens you’re fervently hoping will stage an invasion in your neighborhood. (They’ll know it’s yours because of all the houses covered in toilet paper, courtesy of… you.) Though Martin is undeniably strong at chronicling the general feelings of ennui and malaise that afflict her generation, finding no topic too insignificant to dissect, she also delves into far more difficult parts of her past, like her relationship with her long-absent father, whose return into her life is the very opposite of comforting. (A restraining order is explored, but ultimately abandoned.) Perfect for anyone who has ever hated, loved, and laughed at themselves—particularly if they’ve done those things all at once—Caca Dolce serves to let all the weird millennials out there know that they’re not aliens at all, they’re actually normal. It’s the world that’s strange. Now, let’s go cover it in some T.P.
But first: Join us via Facebook Live on September 20 at 11am, when we talk with Martin about Caca Dolce, and chime in with questions of your own! To help you along with that, we’ll be giving away 10 copies of Caca Dolce to commenters on the Facebook invite, below.