Sleeveless, by Natasha Stagg
Eve Babitz meets Roland Barthes in Sleeveless, Natasha Stagg's follow up to Surveys, her 2016 novel about internet fame. Composed of essays and stories commissioned by fashion, art, and culture magazines, Sleeveless is a scathing and sensitive report from New York in the 2010s. During those years, Stagg worked as an editor for V magazine and as a consultant, creating copy for fashion brands. Through these jobs, she met and interviewed countless industry luminaries, celebrities, and artists, and learned about the quickly evolving strategies of branding. In Sleeveless, she exposes the mechanics of personal identity and its monetization that propelled the narrator of Surveys from a mall job in Tucson to international travel and internet fame.
Praise for Sleeveless
“Natasha Stagg writes in a direct, clean, unapologetic style that is cynical in all the right ways, and sentimental in all the right ways, too. She's a trustworthy and perhaps indispensable reporter on this mediated condition we're living through. Stagg treads the line between truth and fiction (mostly hanging out on the ‘truth’ side of the fence) with a pissed-off sang-froid that may be a great model for other writers of her generation. Her essays about sex are major necessary news. She knows how decadent—and not in a happy way—our ‘moment’ is.”
“Sleeveless resonates with recent books by Sally Rooney, Halle Butler, and Ottessa Moshfegh, in which young women come of age but never quite feel a loss of innocence, often because they started out already familiar with the world's limits and hypocrisies.”
—The New Republic