“Michelle Orange’s mind and her work are splendid, original, absolutely thrilling.”—Kurt Andersen, author of True Believers “Michelle Orange is a crystal clear thinker—funny, lucid, warm and enthusiastic. And This Is Running For Your Life is an important treasure trove of irresistible ideas, information and memories. I found it a delight.”—Jami Attenberg, author of The Middlesteins “Reading Michelle Orange is like getting swept up in a long, stimulating conversation. Orange is fearlessly brainy and forthcoming, and she unstitches cultural assumptions with dexterity and wit. This Is Running for Your Life is a collection of argument, observation, and personal revelation that left me thoughtful and entertained.”—Leanne Shapton, author of Swimming Studies “Smart, sophisticated, and quirky, these essays showcase an original voice that uncannily captures the broodings and shadings of a generation.”—Philip Lopate “A sprawling, maximalist journey into the existential and cultural dramas of late twentieth-/early twenty-first-century North American life. Michelle Orange gives us the contents of her very interesting mind along with a healthy dose of her very good soul.”—Meghan Daum, author of My Misspent Youth and Life Would Be Perfect If I Lived In That House “With profound clarity and sly, pointed humor, Michelle Orange peels back the skin of our modern world. I love this damn book!”—Davy Rothbart, author of My Heart Is an Idiot “I haven’t read anyone who writes more incisively and provocatively about the way we live now than Michelle Orange. She’s a master essayist and our very best modern critic.”—Stephen Elliott, author of The Adderall Diaries
“[Michelle Orange] writes generously and thoughtfully about the way mass culture molds the human heart . . . bighearted, unsentimental, and very smart.”—Eugenia Williamson, Bookforum “A brilliant collection of essays on modern life, and ways that technology and connectivity are changing how we interact with the world . . . The title of a new collection of essays from critic Michelle Orange, This Is Running For Your Life, is so striking in part because it is such an unspoken but recognizable feeling about the way we currently spend our time on earth. As Orange brilliantly breaks down the state of modern life and how it stands in relation to technology and the commoditized image, she tells us much of what we already have intuited, but might have been afraid to admit to ourselves . . . This book is not only a comprehensive cultural portrait of our relationship with technology but also time itself, in the changing ways that we mediate it and consume it.”—Nicholas Mancusi, The Daily Beast “The great fun of Michelle Orange’s This Is Running for Your Life is in watching an essayist build associations between seemingly unconnected topics—James Dean and Michael Jackson, air travel and old age, Hawaii and DSM-5—with all the ease and agility of a master craftsman . . . it would be difficult to name another cultural critic who brings such a high level of intellectual rigor to her subject. Her essays are funny, but not frivolous; sharp, but not brittle. This Is Running for Your Life is thoughtful, heartfelt, witty and deeply impressive . . . In Orange’s writing, the individual gives way to the art (and vice versa), each illuminating the other . . . An abiding intelligence guides readers through the pages, and it’s gratifying to encounter a writer with such a strong ability to balance the personal and the critical . . . It’s a good book for readers who like to think as they read, and an excellent corrective for those of us who may have fallen out of the habit.”—S. J. Culver, The Star-Tribune (Minneapolis) "In the opening essay in this engrossing collection, a book that restores one’s hope for the future of intelligent life on earth, Orange introduces 'the theory of receptivity,' a phrase that neatly describes the source of her fathoming inquiries. In this extended thought piece, written, as is every selection, with an ensnaring mix of intense curiosity, personal disclosures, buoyant wit, and harpooning precision, Orange considers the ways technology has altered time and asks why nostalgia is 'now such an integral part of American culture.' Film critic, journalist, and writer Orange’s great passion, and her inquiry into permutations of the cinematic 'dream girl,' from Marilyn Monroe to today’s 'approachably edgy, adorably frantic,' but damaged pixies, unveils crucial aspects of our 'collective imagination.' Incisive analysis of the impact of social media is matched by a poignant dispatch on her nervy 2008 sojourn in Beirut and a startlingly profound report on what was actually at stake at an American Psychiatric Association conference. Orange’s receptivity is acute, her mastery of language thrilling, and her interpretations of the forces transforming our lives invigorating." —Donna Seaman, Booklist “In this whip-smart, achingly funny collection, film critic Orange (The Sicily Papers) trains her lens on aging, self-image, and the ascendancy of the marketing demographic, among other puzzles of the Facebook generation . . . [this is] a collection whose voice feels at once fresh and inevitable.”—Publishers Weekly
Michelle Orange is the author of The Sicily Papers and the editor of From the Notebook: The Unwritten Stories of F. Scott Fitzgerald. Her fiction, essays, criticism, and journalism have appeared in The New York Times, The Nation, The Virginia Quarterly Review, The Village Voice, The Globe and Mail, Movieline.com, and McSweeney’s, among other publications. She is a founding contributing editor of The Rumpus.