Her First Novel Is Officially Performance Art

by Dina Gachman

Nothing she does is ordinary, so you won't be surprised to find out when Miranda July releases her debut novel The First Bad Man in January, it'll already have its very own store to accompany it. All the proceeds from sales all go to charity, naturally.

Holding true to her status as The Queen of Quirk and The Empress of Eccentricity, July launched The First Bad Man Store, which features 40 objects that are mentioned in her novel. You can buy a one-dollar bill and bobby pin (for $24.50) or “Special Shoes,” which look a little like a green space-age hipster snowshoe ($28.22 for the pair). The money goes to The National Partnership for Women and Families.

If you're not sure about the shoes, but you're curious about the book, here’s a synopsis of July’s novel:

Cheryl Glickman believes in romances that span centuries and a soul that migrates between babies. She works at a women’s self-defense nonprofit and lives alone. When her bosses ask if their twenty-year-old daughter, Clee, can move into her house for a while, Cheryl’s eccentrically ordered world explodes. And yet it is Clee the selfish, cruel blond bombshell who bullies Cheryl into reality and, unexpectedly, leads her to the love of a lifetime.
Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Interested? I am. Chatter about the book says it's pretty kooky — but what else would you expect from July? She'll also be embarking on a book tour with the release of the novel, and that'll be worth checking out, too. The Brooklyn stop includes a conversation with July’s buddy Lena Dunham.

July is a true multi-hyphenate: filmmaker, writer (George Saunders called her short story collection, No One Belongs Here More Than You, “delightful"), performance artist, poet, and handbag designer. A few months back she teamed up with Los Angeles design company Welcome Companions for “The Miranda” — a customized bag complete with a pocket to hold a single almond, a bottle of Calms Forté homeopathic sleeping pills, a teeny tiny version of a security blanket, and a set of small cards that you can hold up instead of speaking. The multipurpose cards say things like “please use a lot of lubricant."

If you can’t afford the $1,500 Miranda bag with the almond pocket, you can check out her short story collection and her movies until the novel comes out. Especially the film Me and You and Everyone We Know — it’s a good one.