The Bullfighter Checks Her Makeup

The Bullfighter Checks Her Makeup Cover

The Bullfighter Checks Her Makeup

My Encounters with Extraordinary People

By Susan Orlean

Random House, Hardcover, 9780679462989, 320pp.

Publication Date: January 1, 2001

In this vibrant collection, Susan Orlean introduces us to an extraordinary array of people, from the well-known (Bill Blass) to the unknown (a typical ten-year-old boy) to the formerly known (sixties girl group the Shaggs). Passionate people. Short people. Young people. And one champion show dog named Biff, who, from a certain angle, looks like President Clinton. Some of these folks are a bit eccentric, like the shopkeeper who has spent thirty years of his life selling nothing but ceiling fans, or the most-sought-after entertainer on the children's birthday-party circuit, a clown known as Silly Billy. Others are living unusual lives, like the bullfighter of the title, the first woman to become a matador in Spain; or the African king driving a taxi in New York City, who keeps his throne in his living room. Susan Orlean brings her wry sensibility, exuberant voice, and peculiar curiosities to a fascinating range of subcultures -- sports and music and hairdressing and real estate, among others. The result is a joyful tour of the human condition as seen through the eyes of one of America's most entertaining and original literary journalists.