Margot Mifflin
May 10, 1991 AT 04:00 AM EDT

If You Can't Live Without Me, Why Aren't You Dead Yet?

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
Cynthia Heimel
publisher
Atlantic Monthly Press
genre
Comic Novels, Women's Studies

We gave it an A-

Although Cynthia Heimel is frequently compared to Dorothy Parker, her cheeky takes on urban life (Sex Tips for Girls, A Girl’s Guide to Chaos) have actually created a neo-feminist genre of their own. In her new collection titled If You Can’t Live Without Me, Why Aren’t You Dead Yet?, Heimel blows off on everything from black clothing (”for people who inanely believe there is a counterculture”) to It’s a Wonderful Life (”singlehandedly responsible for the alarming escalation of suicides during the holiday season”). She has her downside — her girlish meditations on romance and club life are stale — but she redeems herself with bracing diatribes like ”Why I Hate Marilyn” (”She was fresh, she was dewy, and she was completely, utterly unconscious”). As a disaffected baby boomer, Heimel is a peppery amalgam of incongruities: She writes for Playboy and The Village Voice, she’s a pants-chaser whose first love is her teenage son, and while she speaks to the misanthropist in you, she renews your faith in the importance of foulmouthed, strong-minded women. A-

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