Sat 18 Apr, 2009
Tags: Bulletproof Diva, Lisa Jones, names, Spike Lee, Up!
THE UNBEARABLE CROWDEDNESS OF BEING LISA JONES
Number of US women named Lisa Jones: 4,262.
Number named Ann Smith: 2,991
My name is Lisa Jones. Not Lisa Jones the adjunct professor of nutrition at LaSalle University. Not the college basketball player. I run neither a home for the needy in Florida nor a Pilates studio in New York City. I’m not a realtor, anchor woman or a porn star.
Even among authors, a certain amount of individuation from other Lisa Joneses is in order: I did not write Bulletproof Diva (whose author, Lisa Jones, was hailed by the Boston Globe back in 1997 for writing “so vibrant and dynamic, her words create a kind of fierce music… a fabulous book.”) Damn! I wish I DID write that book. Its publisher called it chock full of “fierce black girl humor.” Lisa lives in New York City and even worked with Spike Lee.
Me, I’m of Swedish/Irish stock and am pretty much white as snow. I was raised mostly in Denver, went to college up the road in Boulder, worked briefly on used car lots, started practicing Buddhist meditation, and wrote a book. But so did ANOTHER Lisa Jones, whose book, Up: A novel (about car sales and love) won her a 2003 “Best Novel About a Car Saleswoman” citation from Westword magazine, Denver’s weekly newspaper. I got an e-mail from that Lisa Jones a few years back when I wrote a column about my boyfriend that appeared in the Denver Post. The by-line had caused some confusion among her friends, since she was, in her own words, “a big ole queer.”
So I’m the white, straight, married, suburban Lisa Jones. In the spectrum of things, I may be showing as the boring Lisa Jones. But listen: I have a fascination and love for the Northern Arapahos of Wyoming, in particular with a member of that tribe named Stanford Addison (whose name sounds like it belongs to some guy who graduated from boarding school with John Kerry and is now a stockbroker, but actually belongs to a quadriplegic native healer and horse gentler.) He — and his extraordinary family — are the heros of the book I took six years to write and which is formally hitting the shelves on May 12 — Broken: A Love Story.