Excerpt from The Animators by Kayla Rae Whitaker, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

The Animators

A Novel

by Kayla Rae Whitaker

The Animators by Kayla Rae Whitaker X
The Animators by Kayla Rae Whitaker
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Jan 2017, 384 pages
    Paperback:
    Sep 2017, 384 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Poornima Apte

Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt

Excerpt
THE ANIMATORS

We're hiding In the Powder room at the St. Regis hotel. This is what working in what amounts to a rat's nest for the past decade has done to us, I think, looking at our reflections in the mirror. Ten years in a piece-of-crap studio in the armpit of Bushwick with full view- and- sound of the JMZ train, giving ourselves humpbacks craning over our drafting tables, Camels drooping from our mouths, passing expired packages of Peeps back and forth in the dark. The work has made me forget how to act like a person. We're not fit to go out and socialize with the fancy people, all Cheetos- stained hands and dilated pupils. "Here." Mel hands me her pipe, the one shaped like a squirrel she picked up from a troubled- looking Village store that sold cheap dildos and off- brand candy. "Chug it," she demands. "Pull on that motherfucker like you meanit.

We, the recipients of the American Coalition of Cartoonists and Animation Professionals' Hollingsworth Grant for our first full- length feature, Nashville Combat, are due onstage in less than an hour. And while we're happy— nay, grateful— this is not exactly our crowd. Hence, something to take the edge off.

I straighten, check the mirror again. We look better than usual. Damn near swank, even. I've managed to squeeze myself into a cock-tail getup, wires and clips strapping boobs up and in, stylized girdle crackling my ribs like potato chips, all with my sort of maybe boy-friend, Beardsley, in mind, despite the fact that I haven't heard from him in over a week. We are known entities for what we do, which, specifically, is make "small, thoughtful cartoons and out-of-mainstream animation shorts intended for a thinking woman's audience" as mentioned in The New York Times, BUST, Bitch, Dying Broke and Lonely Quarterly, Shitburger Review, et al.

Mel's in a tux, hair all butched up, specs folded away in her pocket. She's the dashing one. She's crafting a joint for later, running her tongue along the adhesive side of the rolling paper. Pulls the joint away and begins to twist with her fingers. Looks at me in the mirror. "What."

"You look like a dykey George Burns."

"Words hurt." She slips the joint into her breast pocket. "You look pretty, Sharon. How's that make you feel?"

"You lie."

She throws herself on the love seat, legs splayed, fiddling with her bow tie. "ACCAP is a poor acronym, don't you think? Sounds like hocking up a wad of snot."

"I'm sure they have enough cash not to care." I adjust a bra strap, shift the girdle, try to breathe. Mel gestures for the squirrel. I hand it to her.

She takes a hit, straightens to hold the toke. "Sit down and relax," she says on the intake. "You relax." I snip at the air with a bottle of Febreze I find under the sink. The St. Regis is too classy for its own good. I feel like we're hemorrhaging money just standing here. There's a knock at the door. Mel bellows, "In use!"

"Guys, open up. I need a minute with you two."

It's our agent, Donnie. Short for Donatella. She took us on as clients after she saw our first cartoon, Custodial Knifefight, online when we were in college. A crossbow is posted beside the Wellesley diploma above her desk. She says the word cock a lot, but in the pejorative, when something goes wrong: "This isn't worth cock." She chews nicotine gum and drinks a steady stream of Diet Cokes. A can of it is sweating in her hand as she steps in, wearing a slate- colored pantsuit and a pair of heels that cost more than our studio rent. Her hair, the same length as Mel's, is glossy and feline, combed back. She crinkles her nose. "Are you two smoking up in here?"

Mel says, "Nope."

Excerpted from The Animators by Kayla Rae Whitaker. Copyright © 2017 by Kayla Rae Whitaker. Excerpted by permission of Random House. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Beyond the Book:
  Storyboarding

Award Winners

  • Book Jacket: Educated
    Educated
    by Tara Westover
    Voted 2018 Best Nonfiction Award Winner by BookBrowse Subscribers

    Tara Westover had the kind of ...
  • Book Jacket: Circe
    Circe
    by Madeline Miller
    Voted 2018 Best Fiction Award Winner by BookBrowse Subscribers

    Towards the end of Madeline Miller...
  • Book Jacket: Children of Blood and Bone
    Children of Blood and Bone
    by Tomi Adeyemi
    Voted 2018 Best Young Adult Award Winner by BookBrowse Subscribers

    What would you do if, in a ...
  • Book Jacket: Where the Crawdads Sing
    Where the Crawdads Sing
    by Delia Owens
    Voted 2018 Best Debut Novel Award Winner by BookBrowse Subscribers

    Where the Crawdads Sing was a ...

See all Award Winners & Top 20

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
Unsheltered
by Barbara Kingsolver

A timely novel that explores the human capacity for resiliency and compassion.

About the book
Join the discussion!

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    A Ladder to the Sky
    by John Boyne

    A seductive, unputdownable psychodrama following one brilliant, ruthless man.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win The 7 ½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle

The 7 ½ Deaths of
Evelyn Hardcastle

"Agatha Christie meets Groundhog Day...quite unlike anything I've ever read." - A. J. Finn

Enter

Word Play

The Big Holiday Wordplay: $400+ in Prizes

Enter Now

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.