‘Los Angeles’ by Emma Cline

‘Los Angeles’ is a tremendous portrayal of the exploitation and insecurities of young women. The protagonist is working in a clothing store in L.A where everything’s overpriced and the girls are hired on how they look, not their intellect or experience. Management picks too-tight clothes for her to wear, and all the models in the pictures around the store have a sort of starved nymphomaniac aesthetic. We see how the structures that exploit women can be fought against or leaned into (the protagonist ends up flogging her dirty knickers to men in car parks for cash) and how sex is used as a tool and a weapon to exploit us all as consumers. 

First published in Granta 149: Best of Young American Novelists 3, April 2017 and available to read there for subscribers. Collected in Daddy, Random House/Chatto & Windus 2020