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Jhumpa among thinking man's sex symbols

Jhumpa Lahiri, with her "hypnotic eyes", has been named among the top 10 "sex symobls of the thinking man" for 2008.

books Updated: Jan 06, 2009 14:58 IST
IANS
Jhumpa Lahiri

Indian origin author Jhumpa Lahiri, with her "hypnotic eyes", has been named among the top 10 "sex symobls of the thinking man" for 2008, which put Serbian tennis player Ana Ivanovic in the number one slot.

The list, prepared by the popular website The Daily Beast run by former New Yorker journalist Tina Brown, places US-based Lahiri at No.8.

"Jhumpa Lahiri is the gorgeous author of three seriously literary books including, this year, a collection of short stories called Unaccustomed Earth. Those hypnotic eyes are devastating," wrote Touré, a TV journalist, columnist and author.

Clarifying the concept, he notes: "Before we dive into the Top Ten Thinking Man's Sex Symbols for 2008, let's make sure we're all on the same page. TMSS is a term that's thrown around a lot. So let's quantify.

"A man has two minds. The lower mind is brainless ... The upper mind, which works with actual grey matter, is more persnickety. The upper mind, when employed, is moved by intelligence, success, power, self-confidence, a smart sense of humour, and, of course, not having a castrating nature.

"And that's the challenge. Can a woman be independent, creative, sharp, witty, strong, and self-empowering without making me feel like she wants to be a man?"

According to the columnist, a TMSS is someone "we imagine having great conversations with, laughing with, revelling in her success with, and getting drunk on her power with. Where Maxim girls are purposefully brainless, we look at a TMSS and say she's hot because she's smart and beautiful".

The list for the past year is topped by 21-year-old tennis player Ivanovic with British novelist Zadie Smith in "honourable mention".

"If Zadie Smith had published a book in 2008 she'd be #1 (not only is the chick beautiful and brilliant and literary and into hiphop, but she's also got this really sexy deep voice, not Kathleen Turner deep, but a really nice, full, low tone that always kills me). But she didn't, so she's the obligatory honourable mention.

"...And when tennis produces a woman so gorgeous that it's unbelievably hard to take your eyes off her, she's an insuperable TMSS. And unlike that pathetic cream puff Anna Kournikova, my #1's not a frequently double-faulting, habitual first-round loser. No, my #1 won the French Open this year and reached the finals of the Australian Open weeks before winning in Paris.

"Ana Ivanovic from Serbia is currently the fifth-best woman in the world. She's got a mean forehand, is studying finance online as she travels the world, winning tournaments, and is blowing men away with a butterscotch-coloured face that's all smooth slopes and haunting eyes. Ivanovic is the most beautiful female professional athlete of all time."

The list:

No.10: Jennifer Granholm, governor of Michigan.
No.9: Samantha Power, Irish American journalist, author and academic
No.8: Jhumpa Lahiri
No.7: M.I.A., stage name of Mathangi "Maya" Arulpragasam, British song writer and artist of Tamil descent
No.6: Meredith Vieira, American journalist and TV celebrity
No.5: Lisa Ling, American TV journalist
No.4: Katie Couric, American TV journalist
No.3: Sarah Silverman, American singer, actor, comedian, writer
No.2: Tina Fey, American TV actor, producer
No.1: Ana Ivanovic and Zadie Smith (Honorable Mention)