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Allie Rowbottom

Allie Rowbottom is the author of the memoir Jell-O Girls, a New York Times Editors' Choice Selection, Amazon Best Book of the Month, Indie Next Pick, and Real Simple Best Book of the year. Allie's essays and short fiction can be found in Vanity Fair, Salon, Lit HubNo Tokens, NY TyrantThe Drunken CanalAlta JournalBitch, and elsewhere. She holds a PhD in literature and creative writing from the University of Houston and an MFA from the California Institute of the Arts and lives in Los Angeles with her husband, the writer Jon Lindsey.

from Aesthetica

Allie Rowbottom’s debut novel, Aesthetica, alternates between the world of nineteen-year-old nascent influencer @annawrey and that of the thirty-five-year-old Anna Wrey who wears the scars of countless elective surgeries that, when seen in the full context of industrial beauty, don’t seem particularly elective at all. More than anything else, Aesthetica investigates the fallacy of reversibility. When young, don’t we all imagine that life is a series of attempts that can more or less be undone without permanent consequence? Once we step into the light of reality, we realize that there is no fairy godmother waving a magic tv remote with a giant double arrow button reading REWIND. The particularly graceful move in Aesthetica is to advance beyond the commonplace observation that plastic surgery is a futile attempt to flip the hourglass; instead, Rowbottom asks us to imagine a cosmetic procedure that would undo the undoing, reverse the decisions a public figure might make to look like the fantasy version of their true self.


The Brooklyn Rail

SEPT 2023

All Issues