The crop of contenders that has sprung up in the wake of Martha's mess
is staggering. As well as "Down Under Martha" (Hay), there's
"lowbrow Martha" (Semi-Homemade's Sandra Lee), "pioneer
Martha" (MaryJane Butters of Moscow, Idaho), "Gen X Martha"
(Katie Brown) and, following the launch of her Kmart clothing and home
collection, Thalia Sodi, who will debut a magazine this month that will
crown her "Latina Martha." There's even a host of "anti-Marthas,"
including Dan Ho, whose Rescue magazine is pitched to those in "Martha
recovery." While they all tout their own particular niche, what
they share is tricks to fake the painstaking perfectionism that earned
the queen of lifestyle her crown.
MaryJane Butters ("pioneer Martha") can tell you how to raise
a pig. A few years back, she was camping out under the elements because
she couldn't afford to rebuild her cottage after it burned down. Today
she has a $1.3 million, two-book deal with Random House's Clarkson Potter.
In her first title, due out in 2005, Butters, who made not having to
leave her farm to do a book tour a condition of signing the deal, is
expected to address everything from livestock to slipcovers.