“These Boots Are Made for Walking” performed by Nancy Sinatra


At DePaul University, I get to teach a class called the Writer as Urban Walker, and whenever I do, I think about how flânerie—an observant and aimless drift through a city environment—has long been considered the province of men. How there are so many books from Baudelaire on up that feature “flâneurs,” but how relatively few depict flâneuses. My latest novel, Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk is, among other things, an effort to add to the small but growing literature of the flâneuse, so I figured I’d try to pick a walking themed song as my Song of the Week. There are a lot of contenders, including “Walking on Sunshine” by Katrina and the Waves, “Walking in Memphis” by Marc Cohn, “Walk Like an Egyptian” by the Bangles. But here I have to go with “These Boots Are Made for Walking,” written by Lee Hazelwood and performed by Nancy Sinatra—campy, feminist, funny, empowering. One could do worse than to walk around the city while listening to its sassy lyrics and sliding bass.

-Kathleen Rooney

Kathleen Rooney by Clarissa BonetA founding editor of Rose Metal Press and a founding member of Poems While You Wait, Kathleen Rooney is the co-editor of Rene Magritte: Selected Writings, and her second novel, Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk, has just been published by St. Martin’s Press. She lives in Chicago with her spouse, the writer Martin Seay.

Questions, compliments, (hopefully not) complaints?

Contact Jackie Clark: jackie [at] coldfrontmag [dot] com.

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