James Franco and David Shields Wrote a Book of “Real and Imaginary” Conversations with Lana Del Rey


“The only difference between Lana and me is her haunting voice,” wrote James Franco in a essay-poem hybrid in V Magazine that seemed to be the apotheosis of Francodom. Not so, it turns out — for Franco, it seems, like every culture blogger out there, was just beginning to tap into the polarizing discursive goldmine that is LDR, and to that goldmine’s ability to thrust him to new levels of perceived “conceptual” celebrity. That poem was, it turns out, nothing compared to the 100-page book on Del Rey that Stereogum reports is coming our way, and whose cover you can see below.

The book is called Flip-Side: Real And Imaginary Conversations With Lana Del Rey. Otherwise, little is known about the content of these “conversations.” But the cover — which features a series of photos of Del Rey, her sister, Franco, and almost expectedly, MoMA PS1 director Klaus Biesenbach — may be telling. In these images, the celebrities frolic on the beach of Fort Tilden and likely flatter one another with their mutual admiration for one another’s ability to make at-times troll-y millennial pop art.

The book is co-authored, all-too-fittingly, by the traditional-form-challenging David Shields, who, in his “manifesto,” Reality Hunger, questioned the divide between fiction and nonfiction. It’ll be released on March 15, 2016, and can already be preordered.