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Bad Girls: 26 Writers Misbehave by Ellen…

Bad Girls: 26 Writers Misbehave

by Ellen Sussman

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545218,071 (3.71)1



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This collection of autobiographical essays collected from women writers, some much more famous than others, was one I highly anticipated reading. I have had it on my wish list since it was published and reviewed in Bitch magazine. However, I guess I must have built it up too much in my mind, because I didn't find myself enjoying it as much as I had hoped. I had really hoped for some truly shocking revelations, but for the most part, the ladies admit to such things as driving really fast, listening to other people's confessions, eating shellfish, being so good at her job it makes other people jealous, etc. One woman finds it scandalous that she's really such a good girl that her worst offense is having forged a permission slip for another girl (although that was a really fun story to read.) The only truly salacious confession comes from Caroline Leavitt who was so insecure in her marriage that she slept with a really gross dude who taught her ballet class. The only story I really enjoyed was "Penises I Have Known", which is an essay on a decidedly vulgar topic dressed up with SAT level vocabulary, and presented in such a way that I wouldn't be surprised to see it published in a scholarly journal.
Included at the end is some biographical information for each contributor. If I had known that was there, I'd have flipped to it after reading each chapter. As it was, I discovered it at the end and had to flip back to remember who belonged to which story. It would have been nice to have that information included with the story, either at the beginning or immediately following, like a lot of science fiction collections do.
Although none of the essays are terrible, and almost all were fun to read, I just didn't relish reading the book as much as I expected to. It's completely possible that this is my fault. It's also possible that I've been such a bad girl that nothing really scandalizes me any more. ( )
2 vote EmScape | Jan 12, 2010 |
Interesting collection of women's writers, all on the theme of what it means to be a "bad girl" which clearly differs from person to person. Some really well-written bits! ( )
  coolmama | Jun 5, 2009 |
These refreshingly frank essays will leave you crying and laughing out loud. From Kaui Hart Hemmings "Author Questionnaire" and Lolly Winston's "Turn it Up!" (the two funniest) to Erica Jong's "My Dirty Secret" and Ellen Sussman's "Consider the Slut" (two of the most thought-provoking) to "Carolynn Leavitt's "Bad Dancer" and Joyce Maynard's "A Good Girl Goes Bad" (both frank and moving), this collection will have you reconsidering and embracing the bad girl--in a very good way. ( )
  megwaiteclayton | May 10, 2008 |
This was so fun to read, and I've been introduced to a whole new group of favorite writers! In the whole book there was only one story in this collection that I didn't like at all & couldn't finish--out of 26 I think that is pretty great (it was the one that went on and on and on and on and on and on and on about male genitalia. yawn.) Overall this was a fabulous read, and I cannot wait to read more from almost all of these women. ( )
  eenerd | Nov 2, 2007 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0393064638, Hardcover)

A one-of-a-kind anthology of essays by brilliant women writers that provokes readers and encourages them to consider their own inner bad girl.

"I behave badly to set myself apart. To test myself. To push myself. To prove something. To shock someone....I behave badly because I can." That's how Ellen Sussman describes her deviant endeavors. To better understand them, she's invited 25 other bad girls to share their stories. Ann Hood lies, Mary Roach confesses. Lolly Winston blasts the music; Susan Straight puts the petal to the metal. Erica Jong, the original bad girl, challenges her own claim to that fame. Susan Cheever almost flunks out of prep school and then flunks her chance at redemption. Caroline Leavitt marries and cheats; Kim Addonizio celebrates a one-night stand. Roxana Robinson commits forgery. Daphne Merkin measures the penis. There's a kind of energy that gets generated when bad girls get together. These pages bristle with danger. The writers are digging deep—bad behavior lies in their souls. And what they bring to the surface reveals truths about their psyches and our society.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:03:44 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

An anthology of stories by women writers celebrates and meditates on their acts of defiance, from using well-chosen expletives and engaging in less-than-ideal parenting techniques to getting back at an ex and wearing a stolen Girl Scout badge.

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W.W. Norton

2 editions of this book were published by W.W. Norton.

Editions: 0393064638, 0393331954

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