La Cart: The Secret Lives of Grocery Shoppers

Overview

A comic original in the tradition of Tracey Ullman and Lily Tomlin—with Cindy Sherman's eye—Hillary Carlip transforms herself into America's most unforgettable grocery shoppers. It's happened to all of us—we find, tucked away in the corner of our shopping cart, someone's discarded grocery list. Who's the person buying "Whole milk, heavy cream, ice cream, cheese, and Gas-Ex?" Why would someone need to write down "Coors and Oreos" on a matchbook cover—couldn't he just remember those two items? And ...

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Overview

A comic original in the tradition of Tracey Ullman and Lily Tomlin—with Cindy Sherman's eye—Hillary Carlip transforms herself into America's most unforgettable grocery shoppers. It's happened to all of us—we find, tucked away in the corner of our shopping cart, someone's discarded grocery list. Who's the person buying "Whole milk, heavy cream, ice cream, cheese, and Gas-Ex?" Why would someone need to write down "Coors and Oreos" on a matchbook cover—couldn't he just remember those two items? And what's the person like who scrawled their list on a PROZAC notepad? Taking her clues from the items listed, the types of paper written on, the handwriting, and even misspellings ("Aunt Spray"), Hillary saw that each list—at once mundane and personal—offered an intimate peek into a complete stranger's life. She chose 26 lists and imagined who the shoppers might be. She then transformed herself into all 26 people, one by one, literally stepping into each character—all ages, genders, and ethnicities—with hair, makeup, outfits, and one Fu Manchu. Photographer Barbara Green then captured unforgettable images of Hillary portraying these shoppers at their neighborhood markets. Hillary came to love these characters, so her accompanying stories for each are as poignant and hilarious as the photographs. She brings to life richly imagined inner worlds, including one for macho Woody, a self-described "Lady's Man with NO BANKRUPTCIES ready to meet just one Special Lady with NO KIDS." After getting to know these grocery shoppers through Miss Carlip's dedicated voyeurism, going to the supermarket will never be the same.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Ever since she was a teenager, performance artist and author Carlip (Queen of the Oddballs: And Other True Stories from a Life Unaccording to Plan) has been collecting strangers' lost shopping lists and imaging the lives and people behind them. With the help of expertly applied makeup and outlandish costumes, Carlip has turned herself into the men and women that she imagined. From a wife-seeking, Fu Manchu-mustached redneck to an octogenarian stand-up comic, a washed-up lesbian rock star to a 20-something goth boy, Carlip takes inspiration from both the mundane-"potatoes"-and the disturbing-"mousetraps, cheese, mouse." The 26 vivid photographic portraits and accompanying narratives display the author's humor, grace and a brilliantly creative eye. Carlip's alter egos are larger than life and twice as entertaining. Fans of Sloane Tanen's Bitter with Baggage Seeks Sameshould flock to this hilarious, delightful, unique achievement. (Mar.)

Copyright 2007Reed Business Information
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781905264179
  • Publisher: Virgin Books
  • Publication date: 3/18/2008
  • Pages: 128
  • Product dimensions: 8.00 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Hillary Carlip’s memoir, Queen of the Oddballs: And Other True Stories from a Life Unaccording to Plan, is an American Booksellers Association “Book Sense Pick” and was selected by Borders as one of the Top Literary Memoirs of 2006. She has appeared on countless radio and TV shows, including Oprah and the Ellen DeGeneres Show. The creator, host, and editor of the acclaimed literary website freshyarn.com, she lives in Los Angeles.

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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 20, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Quirky Fun!

    The Secret Lives of Grocery Shoppers --<BR/><BR/>Okay, this was just one of those absolutely quirky fun books I had to share.<BR/><BR/>Hillary Carlip started collecting shopping lists she found as a teenager. This book is the result of that collection. She has taken each list and based on the items listed, the notepaper used and the handwriting, has concocted a story for the twenty six lists in the book. If that wasn't enough, she then becomes each character and is photographed in a shopping environment that matches the list. The transformations are quite spectacular. Take a look at the cover again - those are all Carlip!<BR/><BR/>Fans of Tracey Ullman or The Office would appreciate the humour in this book!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 23, 2008

    Hillary Carlip is like Eddie Murphy for Girls!

    You know how Eddie Murphy plays all those characters in the movies? Well this book is like that, except more fun because superstar comedy lady Hillary Carlip plays all the characters in the photographs in this book, and wrote the book! She found actual real shopping lists (she's been hunting them down for years) and then imagined what the people who wrote the lists would be like. It's so fun, and it seems like it would be a great book to give friends, because really, who doesn't write grocery lists? Maybe Ivana Trump or somebody wouldn't like it, but any normal person would find this book hilarious! My favorite was this guy Woody (you'd never know it's a woman in the picture) who was this totally skeevy guy whose list was just beer and oreos. Nice health regime! Anyway, it's a great book, and I highly reccomend it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 24, 2008

    Unique, fascinating, and hilarious

    This is an amazing book. The concept is pure genius: the author has accumulated a lifetime of discarded shopping lists, reducing them down to the most intriguing and hilarious. Next she has written careful, studied, and simply hysterical character pieces describing the people who created the lists. But it is the photographs that will amaze you. You simply have got to get this book, open it up, and take a look inside. They are astonishing. This would make such a perfect Mother's Day gift. I have laughed and laughed reading this book.

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    Posted January 10, 2010

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    Posted June 16, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 16, 2008

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