From a NYT piece, "Cat Marnell, a Former Beauty Editor, on Her New Addiction Memoir."
There's a big interview with the woman, whose "hair fell out a few years ago." (She has many wigs.) She was smoking furiously and drinking a lot of coffee, then switching to wine.
I’ve just finished reading your book, which is harrowing, so I’m a little shaken.The interviewer is female, by the way. Penelope Green.
Dude, that was four years ago. I have everything now but hair, though I’m not in recovery and I’m not clean. People are like, “Is it so brave to tell everything?” I’m like, “No.” For me, being brave would be being in a program and getting clean, instead of “I found a way to talk about my problems ad nauseam and somehow get paid for it.” Not that I want to reduce what I’ve accomplished. I want to say good things.
Here's the book: "How to Murder Your Life."
She does have an amusing writing style. You might think only other addicts would want to read about excessive drug use, but I think it all depends on the quality of the writing. You don't have to be an addict to like reading "Naked Lunch" and "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas." But that's the male addict point of view and set of experiences. Marnell is telling us about being a "party girl" in NYC, loving fashion magazines — "I wanted to huff Anna Wintour" — and all that makeup.
And an obsession with aging:
I really think the only thing about being younger is that you look good... I feel so protective of the young party girls who are so smart but think it’s all about being sexy and going home with the right guys. All I wanted when I was young was to be cool. Now that I’m cool, I just want to go to Europe. If I were 23, I would have fan-ed out, I would have been obsessed with, quote-unquote, Cat Marnell.But how old is she? The article didn't say. I had to look it up. 34.
If you don't like going to the NYT, New York Magazine has its article (by Emily Gould): "Cat Marnell Is Still Alive."
In conversation, Marnell’s light, gushy voice is similar to the Eloise-y tone that makes her book so companionably charming; her laugh is always on the verge of bubbling out, and light flashes behind her marble-size irises as she speaks. Her daffiness belies a knack for offhand brilliance; even her glancing observations are writerly and insightful: “He’s so serious in such an endearing way,” “He has the craziest eyes, second to the National Geographic cover lady.” It’s fucked up to admit, but even though I’d read a lot of her writing, I didn’t expect her to be as smart as she is. She works what she calls the “wolf in bimbo’s clothing” angle, though it’s not entirely clear why a wolf would want to adopt that particular disguise. Part of it might be that she never really had a choice: she was born blonde and pretty to rich, dysfunctional parents. Worse still, one was a psychotherapist and the other a psychiatrist; a teenage Cat’s father wrote her first prescription for ADHD medication.And New York Magazine has an excerpt from the book. Excerpt from the excerpt:
So now I was a beauty editor. In some ways, I looked the part of Condé Nast hotshot — or at least I tried to. I wore fab Dior slap bracelets and yellow plastic Marni dresses, and I carried a three-thousand-dollar black patent leather Lanvin tote that Jean had plunked down on my desk one afternoon. (“This is … too shiny for me,” she’d explained.) My highlights were by Marie Robinson at Sally Hershberger Salon in the Meatpacking District; I had a chic lavender pedicure — Versace Heat Nail Lacquer V2008 — and I smelled obscure and expensive, like Susanne Lang Midnight Orchid and Colette Black Musk Oil.
But look closer. I was five-four and ninety-seven pounds. The aforementioned Lanvin tote was full of orange plastic bottles from Rite Aid; if you looked at my hands digging for them, you’d see that my fingernails were dirty, and that the knuckle on my right hand was split from scraping against my front teeth. My chin was broken out from the vomiting. My self-tanner was uneven because I always applied it when I was strung out and exhausted — to conceal the exhaustion, you see — and my skin underneath the faux-glow was full-on Corpse Bride. A stylist had snipped out golf-ball-size knots that had formed at the back of my neck when I was blotto on tranquilizers for months and stopped combing my hair. My under-eye bags were big enough to send down the runway at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week: I hadn’t slept in days. I hadn’t slept for more than a few hours at a time in months. And I hadn’t slept without pills in years. So even though I wrote articles about how to take care of yourself — your hair, your skin, your nails — I was falling apart....