Jessica Anya Blau, author of the acclaimed novels Drinking Closer to Home and The Summer of Naked Swim Parties, is a contributor to TNB Books’ new collection, The Beautiful Anthology, where she wrote about feeling self-conscious about her nose.


What are you sick of hearing or reading about when it comes to the general idea of beauty?

Nothing. Beauty fascinates me. I love looking at celebrity plastic surgery photos. In general, they make me never want to have plastic surgery.

Differences between men and women when it comes to beauty?

I’ve found that men often don’t understand how they really look, and women usually understand too well. That is, men look at themselves, see the big picture, are happy with it and don’t notice the zit on the chin. Women look only at the zit, are unhappy with what they see, and ignore the big picture.


Other thoughts on beauty?

It seems to me that focusing too much on one’s beauty takes away from actually getting things done and living a life. This happens often with pretty actresses. As soon as they appear to be more concerned with beauty over work, their work sucks. You have to give up a lot of vanity in order to truly create. And those who aren’t willing do that never create great work again. Meryl Streep seems able to give up her vanity.

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TNB Nonfiction features some of the web's best essays, excerpts of up-and-coming books, self-interviews, profiles, and humor from a wide range of authors. Past and future writers include Emily Rapp, Mira Bartók, Nick Flynn and Melissa Febos, among many others.  Our editorial team includes:  SETH FISCHER is the Nonfiction Editor. His work has appeared in Guernica, Joyland, Best Sex Writing, and elsewhere, and he was the first Sunday editor at The Rumpus. His nonfiction was selected as notable in The Best American Essays, and he has been awarded fellowships by Jentel, the Ucross Foundation, Lambda Literary, and elsewhere. He is also a developmental editor of nonfiction and fiction, and he teaches at Antioch University Los Angeles, UCLA-Extension, and Writing Workshops Los Angeles.

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