More barbed humor, this time in a collection of essays, from King (Confessions of a Failed Southern Lady, 1985; He, 1978; WASP, Where is Thy Sting, 1977; etc.). In her opening piece, King identifies herself as "a Bloom & Hirsch girl before Bloom & Hirsch were cool." Her lifelong interest in intellectual pursuits was no comfort to her grandmother, who told her about a boy who graduated from Harvard at 13: "He's a famous professor today, but he wears his clothes inside out and won't have a lamp in his house. He reads beside a jar full of lightning bugs." Meanwhile, King's intellectual streak is rubbed raw by self-help books, hyperbolic junk mail, lazy literary technique (vilified in "Woman's Litter") and Lockjaw Chocktaw, which she parodies in "Land of Hopefully and Glory." She deplores the national cult of "Nice Guyism" that she finds in our culture and politics ("We want a president who is as much like an American tourist as possible"); dislikes children, whom she calls "wartlings," the fumbling feminist movement, and Phyllis Schlafly; and was compelled to scour her apartment after trying to review John Updike (hilariously described in "Phallus in Wonderland"). She also mourns the sorry state of humor in America: "a land where headline writers see nothing wrong with 'Hearts Go Out To Brainless Baby.' " Wicked and witty, keeping alive the tradition of Dorothy Parker.