Moon Deluxe by Frederick Barthelme, available at Amazon.com
Frederick Barthelme’s Moon Deluxe is a short story collection filled with vivid descriptions of contemporary American life–suburban apartment complexes, beach-side tourist traps, shops selling bright distractions… Quirky characters stumble through everyday life with understated brilliance. It’s the little things that make this book so big.
Factor in the book’s 1983 publication date, and suddenly Barthelme’s knack for detail makes Moon Deluxe a valuable cultural document for ’80s-lovers. I bought this book in the ’90s as a vacation read, and I’ve been rereading it for the last fifteen years.
Mirror80 spotlights this amazing collection of short stories by sharing a few passages focused on ’80s fashion, with accompanying images courtesy of three Etsy shop owners with an eye for ’80s style:
Moon Deluxe-Inspired ’80s Fashion
“Ann’s skirt is made out of a shiny red fabric that looks as if it could be used for spacesuits. She’s wearing a transparent chiffon blouse and her usual three-inch heels–today they’re opera pink. When Amos leaves, she catches me staring at her and makes a fish face.”
–From the Moon Deluxe short story “Box Step,” p. 16.
“Amos’s daughter is the only person in the T.G. & Y. She’s tall and thin, with jagged-cut almost silver hair and punk-rock makeup. I say hello and tell her I don’t know how I failed to recognize her yesterday.”
–From the Moon Deluxe short story “Box Step,” p. 17.
“Dolores spreads a black towel laced with salmon, peach, and gray-green flowers, then pulls things out of the tote–a tall red plastic glass and a can of sprite, a pack of cigarettes in a leather case with a lighter pouch, a rolled copy of Cosmopolitan, a ribbed brown squeeze bottle of suntan cream, a thin silver radio the size of a wallet, a pair of square-lensed sunglasses with clear frames; she arranges these items around her towel, on the perimeter of her new territory, at the ready.”
–From the Moon Deluxe short story “Pool Lights,” pp. 117-18.
A special thank-you to LapineOurs Vintage, Furlicious Furs and What The Funk for their help in making this blog post possible.
Don’t forget to check out Frederick Barthelme’s Moon Deluxe, a great work of modern literature written in the ’80s…