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Chick Lit

In artist Sloane Tanen’s little worlds, human life—from blind dates to yoga to bad wax jobs—is expertly acted out by chickens.

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Sloane Tanen embarked on her artistic career by building miniature rooms and painting them in the changing light. “They were kind of pretentious,” she admits, and so one day, for a joke, Tanen, 33, threw in a two-inch-high chenille-and-wire chick—the sort you might find on Easter cakes. “The whole thing just lit up,” she says. Now comes her first book, Bitter With Baggage Seeks Same, a series of captioned dioramas starring spoiled princesses, socialites, and other fowl, some in very Sex and the City–like predicaments (“Bridget had to ask herself if the ‘all over’ body wax had in fact been a very bad idea”). Having signed on for another adult book and two kids’ titles, Tanen’s even been approached by a chicken franchise that wanted to put her work on its plates. She refused: “They’re not for eating. And it’s not about them being animals. It’s just a world of humans that happen to be chickens. Because it’s easier to say the things you want to say with a chicken.”


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