la Cart: The Secret Lives of Grocery Shoppers.
By Hillary Carlip.
Mar. 2008. 120p. illus. Virgin, $17.95 (9781905264179). 818.
First published March 15, 2008 (Booklist).
the self-described queen of the oddballs (from the
title of her acclaimed memoir), draws on her love of story,
passion for performance and transformation, eye for found art,
and gift for comedic and empathic improvisation in a unique
portrait gallery. A populist Cindy Sherman, an American Tracey
Ullman, a female Eddie Murphy, and a disciple of Lily Tomlin,
Carlip used her quirky collection of discarded shopping lists
as inspiration for 26 characters, assuming the identity of men
and women shoppers of various ages, backgrounds, and preoccupations.
poses with great verve in brightly colored store aisles as Kim,
a leathery biker momma grasping a bottle of Jack Daniels, her
shopping list a tattered piece of red paper with Jimmy
Den and soda crossed off and Liqor
written assertively four times. Then theres supermom June
and her meticulously typed list for her Tourettes-afflicted
sons birthday party; flannel-shirt-wearing, Fu Manchued
Woody; tattooed punk pinup Heather; and lonely healthy-eater
Fran. Each of Carlips ingeniously composed, funny, and
insightful vignettes is a microcosm of struggle and hope. Donna
YAs will find Carlips amazing transformations, intriguing
characters, and mix of irreverence and compassion hugely entertaining.