Cat Lady Conquers Political Blog

by Michelle Dean

Screen Shot 2014-12-15 at 2.00.42 AMI am both flattered and apprehensive to be playing the role of one half of Andrew Sullivan for you this week. (The other half belongs to Will Wilkinson.) I’m going to be presumptuous and say I suspect I’m here to represent the left-hand portion of Andrew’s psyche. I started out, years ago, writing mostly for The Awl. More recently I’ve been writing for Gawker and The Guardian. Though I’ve had my fair share of mud thrown at me online, few have ever accused me of anything like libertarianism. Or even centrism. Blame it on my being born and raised in the heathen socialist wilds of Canada, if you like.

Introductions are awkward so let’s keep this short: I do a lot of culture writing, some of it criticism, some of it journalism. But given the choice, I’d write mostly about the dead. I like history. I also like books, though my preference skews to old, weird books. I know way too much about the history of American magazines. And I really like old headlines.

When forced to consider more contemporary matters, I usually natter on about feminism and women’s issues, about crime and criminal justice, and about the law more generally. In a previous life I was a lawyer of the worst kind, meaning a corporate lawyer at a white-shoe law firm. I’ve felt the need, since, to pay off some karmic debts.

At the moment I’m in the process of finishing a book about women critics and intellectuals from Dorothy Parker to Janet Malcolm. I call it Sharp: The Women Who Made An Art of Having an Opinion. It’ll be published sometime in 2016.

I also have what most of the internet seems to agree is a very attractive cat. I promise not to write about her too much this week.