Now and Then.

Who the...?

Harendra Kapur.
Kyra Mathews.
Tejas Menon.

I’m a sucker for chick lit, as Ive mentioned before. But there is one author, who deserves far more than the slightly condescending tag of “Oh her? She just writes chick-lit.” Jennifer Crusie is one of the smarter, and funnier authors on my bookshelves. And well, I have a lot of books on a lot of bookshelves, so you really have to believe me.

The first Crusie book I picked up was “Faking it”, and to my eternal shame, the only reason I bought it was because the cover was incredible. I read it much later, and couldn’t believe I’d let this book simmer on my shelves untouched. Its been 6-7 years since I first read it, and it is still one of the most influential books in my life. It taught me more about relationships, about music and about art than most of the “serious fiction” on my shelves. I adopted many theories put forth in the book as my own, and one idea especially, I repeat in my head on a regular basis, especially when I know I'm going to be doing something I really shouldn’t be doing : "If you can’t be a good example, you’ll just have to be a horrible warning." So before I do anything terrible, I always ask myself if I really want to be a horrible warning. So yes, Gwen Goodnight, one of the books many protagonists, really did give me more sense than I give myself credit for.

After that, my search for Crusie has never ceased. For some reason, she isn’t readily available in most mainstream bookstores, and most people have to resort to Amazon to get her into their lives. I am not an Amazon fan myself, and instead, happily settle for the great and irreplaceable high you get when you find a much-loved author in random places i.e the last few times I found her was in the Cochin airport bookshop hidden behind Orhan Pamuk and in a cardboard carton on a Dubai street.

The best part about Crusie, is that none of her heroines are very physically attractive. So, you relate to them, and you love them unconditionally, instead of being slightly in awe and a little resentful. Some of them are overweight, some have mad hair and glasses, and they like to eat, they like to drink, they have bad tempers and are blessedly human and as far from perfect as you can get. They become your best friends and you actually listen to what they have to say. Instead of having incredible bodies, swishy hair and perfect skin, they have a sense of humour and intelligence that is approachable, not overwhelming.

The second best thing about Crusie will only be visible to the loyalists who have read more than one of her books. She hides symbols, signs and messages, (cherries, dove bars and I'm not going to reveal anymore) in almost all her books that make you feel connected to her and her mind. You’ll read it and you’ll know instantly that it’s a Crusie book and you like you’re part of a closely knit circle of warmth and humour; like you’re part of a secret club where everyone understands and knows you.

I have recently waded my way through all of Crusie’s books, and “Faking it” is still my favourite, followed closely by its prequel (yes, I read it backwards, I didn’t know at the time), “Welcome to Temptation.” The best thing about finally going through all of Crusie, is the blissful yayness she provided. The worst thing about finally going through all of her, is that now I’m done. I’ll never again feel that almost unbearable joy finding her in strange places, and I’ll never again feel that agonizing restlessness to open a Crusie book I haven’t read before. I lingered over the last book, reading the same page twice or thrice, knowing painfully, that this was it, and once I finished this, there’d be no more – especially since Crusie has publicly announced that she’s stopping her romances, and she’s only doing collaborations now. I’ve read one of her collaboration, and its lacking the Crusie spark, diluted as it is by someone else’s words alongside hers.

It’s a strange sort of grief, knowing that my relationship with a person Ive never met has reached its end. She always made me laugh when I thought I never would again, she was the woman who introduced me to Dusty Springfield oh-so many years ago, the one who taught me the difference between muffins, donuts and men, who proved over and over again that personality trumps the physical any day, and how important it is to be able to laugh at life, and at yourself.

Goodbye, Jennifer Crusie. My bookshelves and my life are more memorable and far more worthwhile, having known you.

“When Eve ate the apple/Her knowledge increased/But God liked dumb women/So Paradise ceased” – Jennifer Crusie/Gwen Goodnight in Faking it.
Note: WeTheWriters would like to apologise muchly for the lack of updates on this blog. We have been very busy being very busy, and while I'm sure that's not a good enough excuse, we'd like to think it is. And we are mostest and muchlest sorry and all that.

3 responses to "Goodbye, Jennifer Crusie."

  1. Finally. FI-NUH-LEE. Totally worth the wait though. Post exams, MY hunt for the Crusie collection begins. Yes, it does.


  2. Good :) YOUR own hunt also, because I don't intend on lending/sharing. Yes, Im selfish that way.


  3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.


The All of us.

The All of us.