Wow, Kara, do you think we are ready to start talking about Lisa Carver, creator of the important zine Rollerderby, author of Dancing Queen, Drugs are Nice, and The Lisa Diaries, changer of lives, and one of the best writers in America today?
I know maybe I am biased because when I was in my twenties and flailing, Rollerderby encouraged me to be a certain kind of reckless that I found very emotionally healthy. Those zines were like these secret messages (there’s the 90s-as-stealth theme again) from the coolest, most maniacal, most cheerfully dangerous person in the world.
Every time I hear anything about the Almighty Jonathans or any other celebrated American writers I get irrationally mad, because there is Lisa up in New Hampshire saying these genuinely profound things about the culture. Then all these dudes with little glasses are winning awards and big contracts.
I just noticed that on her Wikipedia page is my article about her for The Austin Chronicle from ten years ago. I did the story so I could meet her and we could hang out and it totally worked. I met my husband the same way, profiling him for the same paper.
Later, I was one of Lisa’s editors at Nerve and her editor at Babble. Every time I see her, it is to do something like drive her to the airport or carry some books from a car or drive to Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, to a bar called Our Beer Bellies or to hang out with crazy and possibly homeless literary revolutionaries at a Pizzeria Uno. She doesn’t seem to have anything BUT adventures, and she doesn’t seem to think about sex and religion and relationships like anyone else ever has. It’s like she is a love-and-death savant.
I could go on and on, but I want to hear how you encountered her and what you think of her writing.
P.S. As far as I’m concerned having an excuse to meet people you worship or are hot for is the number one (only?) reason to be a journalist.
P.P.S. I love this photo of one of her “operas.” Lisa Carver makes things happen.