When 22-year-old Lilibet Snellings moved to Los Angeles on a whim, she unintentionally became a slash” to keep her head above water a writer/waitress/actress/Box Girl. One night each week, Lilibet would go to The Standard Hotel in West Hollywood, don a pair of white boy shorts with a matching tank, touch up her lip gloss, and crawl into a giant glass case behind the front desk. There, she could do whatever she wanted check email, catch up on reading, even sleep as long as she ignored the many hotel guests who would point and ask the staff, Is she allowed to use the bathroom?” (Yes.)
Dog-paddling through her twenties, Snellings resisted financial bailouts (for the most part) from her sweet Southern mother and business-oriented dad, while pondering her peculiar position as a human art installation. Was she a piece of art or a piece of ass? Was she allowed to read both Walt Whitman and US Weekly as she lounged in an oversized, waterless aquarium behind a hotel concierge desk? From misinterpreting a modeling agency interview as a talent audition, to avoiding Bond-girl-style deaths at New Year’s Eve parties, Snellings shares and laughs at her many mishaps while living in LA.
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Lilibet Snellings was born in Georgia and raised in Connecticut. She earned her MFA from the University of Southern California and maintains residences in both Los Angeles and Chicago. Her work has appeared in The Huffington Post, LA Magazine, Anthem, Flaunt, and This Recording, among other publications.
In this coming-of-age memoir, Snellings, the eponymous Box Girl, works as a model in an art installation in a Los Angeles hotel lobby. Posing, scantily clad, in a clear box, Snellings may read, sleep, write, and even cry as long as she ignores her audience. While modeling, she sharply observes the hotel visitors and her odd place in a stew of reality, voyeurism, and objectification. Between her box musings, Snellings recounts the stops and starts of her post-collegiate life that brought her to this position. Short chapters serve as vignettes covering topics including her unpaid magazine internships; her earthquake fears; embarrassing insurance-commercial auditions; the richness of friendships made while tending tables; and her efforts to make it in L.A. without relying (much) on her privileged and eccentric East Coast family. The disconnected stories in her first book employ a self-effacing and wryly humorous young voice in the tenor of Sloan Crosley and Lena Dunham. A self-described slash (writer/model/waitress/actress), Snellings truthfully captures her tumultuous twenties, in which identity is fashioned and refashioned anew with each apartment, job, boyfriend, and haircut. --Lindsay Bosch
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