I fell in love with Francesca Lia Block’s writing from the first page. She describes an ultra cool, surreal L.A.
The beautiful super hip Weetzie Bat and her friend Dirk are the stars of her prose. They make three wishes which come true, literally. They want a cottage to live in, a duck for Dirk, (duck is slinkster-cool talk for good looking guy) and a secret agent lover man for Weetzie.
Dirk’s aunt passes away, leaving them a beautiful cottage on the edge of a canyon. Dirk meets a gorgeous guy, named Duck. And Weetzie meets a man named… wait for it… My Secret Agent Lover Man. Bizarre? Yes! When you read Block’s dreamy style it feels just right.
Weetzie ends up having a baby. The father could be one of three people. More and more people are added to this eclectic group of bohemian artists who live in this fabulous, love-filled cottage. They make films, music and lots of drama. With names like Angel Juan, Cherokee Bat and Witch Baby, the cast of characters become more colorful and more beautiful with each page turn.
Some examples of her writing: “Cherokee looked like a three-dad baby, like a peach, like a tiny moccasin, like a girl-warrior who would grow up to wear feathers and run swift and silent through the L.A. canyons.”
“His eyes that had always been like lakes full of fishes, or waves of love, of bathtub steam and candle smoke, or at least like glasses of gin when when he was sad, were now like two heavy green marbles, like the eyes of the mechanical fortune-teller and on the Santa Monica pier.”
“Cherokee noticed that the air was beginning to change, becoming powder-surgery with pollen as if invisible butterfly wings and flower petals were brushing against her skin.”
Teen Discussion Ideas:
1. Is this really happening? Or is it more of a dream?
2. Take turns reading passages aloud and talk about the imagery.
3. What would your three wishes be?
4. What would happen if they came true, literally.
5. Dirk’s aunt died to make his wish come true. How would your wishes affect others around you?
Block has so many other books! The Weetzie Bat books are her most famous. I hope to eventually read all of her work.