“He Tucked A Stray Hair Behind Her Ear”

Another funny bit I found in the current issue of BOOK PAGE was a letter to The Author Enabler who mentioned that there is a serious over-explosion in novels where someone tucks the hair of another behind the ear. I thought it might be a post idea to work with.

Have you noticed this? Book Page is encouraging other readers to send in examples of hair tucking and other silly cliches.

AND THEN!

Just yesterday, I read this in Private Demons, Judy Oppenheimer’s bio of Shirley Jackson, in a letter from her husband Stanley:

“writin? taint nothin but fun!!!! neatly tucking a wisp of gray hair  in place. . . d’ruther be raisin my passel of kids but since they laid henry off at the mill . . . flouring her apron with careworn hands . . . n’poppin blueberry pies in the oven . . . neatly detaching her dogddamn head . . .shucks. . . yessir yessiree essireeindeedee!”

Sure it is not a nice message on many levels, but it was a hair tuck reference. (and a pie reference, in case you missed that, too.)

I’m trying to recall if Vronsky tucked any of Anna Karenina’s hair behind her ear. Or did I hear something like that in Bleak House already? Sounds like something Richard would to do Ada.

So do tell if you notice this in any of your current reads. I bet I will notice it going forward, will you?

HIdeinWhitetoSkipLine

Copyright © 2007-2012. Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.
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14 thoughts on ““He Tucked A Stray Hair Behind Her Ear”

  1. Ugh! I hate having my hair tucked behind my ear. Plus, all my hairs are strays! Will watch for this cliche to appear, but I haven’t read a real honest-to-goodness love story in a while. Zombies and vampires and immature, insensitive, selfish, male main characters don’t tend to do things like tucking stray hairs behind ears. 😉

  2. boardinginmyforties

    I’ll keep an eye out for this reference. It sounds so familiar that I’m quite sure I’ve read something like it on multiple occasions!

  3. I bet I’ll notice it too, from now on! I used to date a guy who was always tucking my hair back and I hated it. It made me feel completely unkempt and weird. I can’t imagine ever liking having that done, and I say that as someone who constantly tucks her own hair behind her own ears.

  4. I usually don’t notice hair-tucking unless the character is really bookish. Somehow being bookish and hair-tucking seems to go together but only in adult books. There seems to be a lot of hair-tucking in YA.

  5. I loved that note Stanley sent to Shirley. He seems like the type that would have flung a book if he’d caught any hair-tucking going on.
    The last hair-tucking I saw was in A Prologue to Love by Taylor Caldwell. Mercifully, she didn’t let this become a regular storytelling strand. If you blinked, you’d miss it.

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