After the Orgy, Episode 12

what purpose did alt lit serve in your life?

  
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In 2012, Tao Lin’s literature website, Muumuu House published a short story called “Adrien Brody.” Written by the pseudonymous Marie Calloway, it recounted a tryst between a 21-year-old woman and a much older writer (with a girlfriend) in the Brooklyn leftist/literary scene. As people began to speculate about the real identity behind the titular character, a fiery debate started: Was this art, or was this an over-glorified Tumblr entry? Even critics who sided with Calloway, who enjoyed her writing, didn’t evaluate the story for what it was: a piece of short fiction.

If you Google “Marie Calloway + Adrien Brody,” it’s easier to find critiques of the piece than the story itself. To this day, it seems as though Marie’s writing is fated to be overshadowed by the conversation around it.

On today’s episode we finally give “Adrien Brody” the credit it’s long deserved. Not as a political statement, not as a feminist act, not as an attempt at micro-fame, but as a work of confessional art that poignantly captured what it meant to sexually awaken in the early 2010s.

(We love you, Marie.)

Stories and articles referenced:

You can also listen to this episode on SpotifySimplecast, and Apple Podcasts.