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Paperback Bad Girls: 26 Writers Misbehave Book

ISBN: 0393331954

ISBN13: 9780393331950

Bad Girls: 26 Writers Misbehave

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Format: Paperback

Condition: Very Good

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Book Overview

"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 mischievous endeavors. In this anthology of personal essays, she's invited twenty-five other bad girl writers to share their stories. Ann Hood lies; Mary Roach confesses. Erica Jong, the original bad girl, challenges her own claim to that fame. Caroline Leavitt marries...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings


What a great combination of women writers and their topics were so varied. really enjoyed this.


As I read this Anthology, I was forced to look at myself really hard. There had to be a bad girl in me...where was she? I became frightened by the third or so story that perhaps my good girl had eaten my bad girl and now I must forever live a dull uninteresting life, with nothing to report. What would I be living for? Where was the "She" that put down my foundation? Every woman has a bad girl tucked away smiling and cocky.. These 26 writers had me laughing and crying and stunned all at once. Such an execellent read with a great bottle of wine...I unearthed my bad girl and plan to keep her aloft as a mentor.

Funny and Sad and Wonderful

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.

"Bad girls are not born but made."

I began reading about bad girl behavior (although "girl" is a bit disconcerting) with a favorite author's offering, Susan Straight's "Reckless". Returning to the wild days of rock and roll, fast cars and a brother who shared the heady freedom of her childhood, Straight describes the heart-racing thrill of flying over a dusty road, pedal to the metal, music blaring, the scent of cannabis in the air. Because I came of age in the same area and experienced a similar joy in racing my mother's car on back roads, I could easily empathize with such abandonment, if only temporary, touched by the personal loss that remains part of those sweet memories. Katherine Weber writes about the night she and a close friend climbed an as yet unfinished tower of the World Trade Center, ready for the future from the ninety-ninth floor, the wind howling in the night. Years later, she remembers the exquisite sensation, one of the first people to enjoy the stunning view, the foolish plans of untested youth before the changes the years bring. So far my "Bad Girl" selections have proved nostalgic, but I've yet to encounter any really naughty behavior as promised in the title. Perhaps Erica Jong will restore my faith in "My Dirty Secret". Uh, oh. Jong's bad girl is, after all, a fraud: "She is my self-created monster." Rather than a revealing essay, Jong renders an apology on female writers, claiming women writers are treated similarly to female politicians: "damned for being all the things they need to be in order to be heard", for example, Hillary Clinton, Arianna Huffington, and feminist history's heroine, Queen Elizabeth I. In "Lying", Ann Hood sits through a makeover in Bendel's, lying about every aspect of her life to appear more mysterious. Staring at the visionary creature in the mirror, long-lashed, full-lipped, Hood manufactures the appropriate persona, not a suburban woman who will soon be boarding a train to Rhode Island. Proudly claiming a heritage of self-professed liars, Hood confesses to indulging all the time, but "I never lie about things that matter". Desperate now, I turn to Elizabeth Benedict's "The Thrill of a Well-Placed F***". What was I thinking? Benedict shares her struggle to balance language with propriety and the sheer joy of a string of expletives. Looking back, she is more judicious, not particularly anxious to pass this habit along. Eventually I discover a few gems, like Daphne Merkin's intriguing essay on male anatomy, but the pithy topic is weighted with innuendo and a temptation to snicker, even after all these years. At least Merkin fulfills the title's promise of sizzling hot confessions in this compilation. Though the collection is thoroughly entertaining, I was hoping for a bit more salacious material, somewhat disappointed but engaged as well. Perhaps what seems so exciting and dangerous when we are young only evokes nostalgia through the bifocals of time. If this is all we have to share with our daughters, they will never believe

Don't miss it!

This is a must read book. The different essays will make you laugh and cry, but mostly they'll make you think about your own "bad" experiences. Couldn't put it down.
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