Lady Macbeth Cocks an Eyebrow

This comment by Marianne Schaefer Trench posted at The Daily Beast caught my eye and forced me to arch a curious eyebrow of my own. 🤨

The Raised Eyebrow Is the Lazy Writer’s Favorite Cliché

You rarely see a raised eyebrow in real life, but in fiction they are rising, knitting, and furrowing everywhere, or at least if you’re looking at truly crappy novels and stories.

images.jpgI have developed a severe allergy to hyperactive eyebrows in fiction. They have become writers’ go-to lazy shorthand for pretty much any emotion. In novels, eyebrows do all kinds of things. Most commonly they “rise.” Sometimes a single eyebrow rises all by itself, but often both eyebrows rise in unison. Slightly more creative writers make the eyebrows “knit” or “furrow” or “hike” or “tighten” or “pinch” or “wiggle”—or any other verb that might describe a mobile eyebrow (or two).

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California

Tank GirlThe world runs out of fossil fuels, climate change is wreaking havoc, new diseases are exploding, businesses are closing, basic human needs (like cell phones and lip gloss) are no longer available, marauding gangs rule the streets, reservoirs are emptied since water is scarce, roads are falling into ruin, commerce has broken down, and life is cheap.

What do you expect the millionaires and billionaires do to save life as we know it on this planet? Correct! They all pack-up and move to elite enclaves to escape the misery of the hoi poloi, the great unwashed, the mob, the other 99%. But California, by Edan Lepucki, is not a novel investigating the issues of our day, nor is it a story extrapolating the future of Republican greed versus hippy altruism: it’s the story of a reasonable development in our future civilization.

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