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Playing Taboo
Laura Kleinhenz

“Cook? No. I’d rather do absolutely anything else.”
“I don’t particularly like children.”
“I think sleeping around is really the way to go.”

No matter how many advances we’ve made as a society, it seems we’ve all agreed that there are some things we just don’t say.

Apparently, essayist Meghan Daum didn’t get the memo. In her new collection, The Unspeakable, the L.A. Times columnist tackles what most women wouldn’t touch with a ten-foot pole.

She writes about grieving for a mother she didn’t particularly like, her extreme ambivalence toward having children (even when it becomes important to the man she waited years to marry), trying on new sexual identities like pairs of shoes and daring to hate cooking “in a world of heirloom tomato ketchup and chanterelle mushroom omelets.”

Generationally, Daum falls between Lena Dunham and Joan Didion (both of whom share her commitment to honesty, even in the most unflattering lights). Her first collection, My Misspent Youth, became a cult classic a decade ago. Now Daum is grown up and settled down, and her latest work is a fresh take on not giving a damn.

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