My Heart Is an Idiot
Farrar, Straus and Giroux: 320 pp, $26
The love of Davy Rothbart's life is a character from Allison Anders' 1992 film "Gas Food Lodging." Shade, played by Fairuza Balk, is the wan and ephemerally beautiful daughter of a New Mexico trailer park waitress. From the day Rothbart — the editor of Found magazine and a "This American Life" favorite — first saw the film, he's fallen only for women with slivers of Shade to them: wraithlike girls who are often more fiction than fact.
"In the weeks and months that followed, my desire for her dominated my being.... It's been...