Jia Tolentino (c) Elena Mudd
Jia Tolentino (c) Elena Mudd

Those who would most enjoy Internet darling Jia Tolentino’s first collection of essays, the raved-over Trick Mirror: Reflections on Self-Delusion, may be the most unlikely to find time to consume it: the social-media-obsessed millennials with shattered attention spans whose culture is so adroitly described in the book. To the idea that they’re all digital-first narcissistic illiterates, Trick offers a paper-and-ink middle finger.  


Tolentino was born to parents from the Philippines and raised in Houston, where she graduated from Second Baptist School. She attended UVA, hopscotched to the Peace Corps in Kyrgyzstan, then to grad school, eventually landing a post as a staff writer at the The New Yorker — all before age 30.

She’s been described as both the “Joan Didion of her generation” and “Susan Sontag reincarnated.” And the praise is deserved. Take “Ecstasy,” the most Houston-centric piece in the book. In it, she describes the unlikely alchemy of mega-church Christianity, adolescence, MDMA, and Houston’s hip-hop scene — with much of the action taking place in the Second Baptist parking lot.

The opening essay, “The I in the Internet,” provides a reflection on how the web was uniquely experienced by Tolentino’s generation. Others address the complexities of contemporary feminism; her time in Charlottesville and the town’s struggles with purported racism and rape culture; and being invited to 46 weddings over nine years — resulting in the death of her desire to get married. 

Lots of people read Tolentino’s exemplary work online — she has 90,000 Twitter followers — but it’s better as a book. (Even if you’ll have to pay the equivalent of two months of Netflix.) $27, at Brazos Bookstore

Art+Culture
Duos, Trios and Teams: Clients Get ‘Personalized, Hands-on Service’ at Perdomo Group

Standing left to right: Meghan Johnson, Jill Knowles, Julianna Lind, Beth Stephan, Marla Reade, Galina Saburov, Lil Newman

Seated left to right: Susan Boylan, Julie Sheets, Kim Perdomo, Kim Zander, Tracy Ackley

HOW DID YOUR team form? After ten years as a realtor for a top firm in Houston, Kim Perdomo established a boutique brokerage in 2011. The team grew organically and joined forces with Compass in 2019.

Keep ReadingShow less

GIVEN THEIR LINEAGE, the Childress brothers’ success may come as little surprise. Masterminds behind 3-D product-imaging company Kermit Labs, Wells, 31, and Knox, 26, got their sharp eye for design from their interior-decorator mom Kara — and their entrepreneurial spirit from Houston-Oiler-turned-auto-dealer father Ray.

Keep ReadingShow less
People + Places

Trio Chapultepec (photo by Ashkan Roayaee)

ON DEC. 8, JAVIER Martínez and librettist Leonard Foglia’s Christmas-themed, mariachi opera El Milagro del Recuerdo (“The Miracle of Remembering”) returns to the Houston Grand Opera.

Keep ReadingShow less
Art + Entertainment