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Colors Insulting to Nature    by Cintra Wilson order for
Colors Insulting to Nature
by Cintra Wilson
Order:  USA  Can
HarperCollins, 2004 (2004)

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* *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

Cintra Wilson's book of essays, A Massive Swelling: Celebrity Re-examined As a Grotesque Crippling Disease, created a nationwide cult following. It stands to reason that her novel Colors Insulting to Nature will expand that following.

We follow Liza Normal from a stage-mother-ridden childhood into a place she finds for herself in the entertainment field. We see her forced into outlandish, hookerish attire and makeup by age thirteen. We experience the 70s, 80s, and 90s with her. Sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll Colors is a history of our time played out by a girl obsessed with show business. Her brother is emotionally challenged, living inside a ski mask. But he manages to become a success. Liza - with little talent but a great big ambition - takes a little longer than her brother.

Colors Insulting to Nature is a funny, sad, heart-wrenching tribute to the resiliency of human nature. Liza knows joy and sadness. She asks, 'And how are you supposed to store joy, for the ugly days when the bleakness returned?' If you're a little down, I recommend that you wait to pick up this book until your sun is shining. It exposes a dark side of life that we are not all equipped to handle.

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