Though this write-up, “Eat, Pray, Love Like a Badass: Cheryl Strayed, the Oprah Author 2.0,” does a suspicious cheerleader vs school slut thing with Elizabeth Gilbert.
But Strayed, with her unsentimental, unflinching attitude toward the muck of life, seems like an odd choice to be paired with Oprah’s New Age-lite brand of yoga pants, vision boards, and Dr. Oz-endorsed juice cleanses. Strayed’s “radical empathy” contradicts Dr. Phil’s blustering judgmental condemnations. In her 2006 blueprint essay for Wild, “The Love of My Life,” Strayed gives a hard glimpse into a bout of promiscuity after her mother’s death that eventually ended her marriage: “I didn’t bargain, become depressed, or accept. I fucked. I sucked. Not my husband, but people I hardly knew, and in that I found a glimmer of relief.” This is a sharp contrast to the first line of Gilbert’s memoir, “I wish Giovanni would kiss me,” conjuring giddy, girlish romance in a foreign land.
Not to say the contrast isn’t there to be exploited.
Then there was another woman writing, first-person, about emotion and sex. Mazza coming out as being “frigid,” a word she uses deliberately, with all its baggage. Rather than the perhaps more artful term asexual.