'I hope this book will prove, once and for all, that a girl doesn't need a guy in her life in order to act like a complete idiot.' Susan Jane Gilman's warm and funny account of growing up a wannabe groovy chick in 1970s and '80s New York is a coming-of-age memoir guaranteed to make you 'laugh, feel smugly superior and less alone in your life'. From a childhood desperately wanting to be famous to making a fool of herself in front of her teen idol. From dating inappropriate men to gaining street cred as a fake lesbian. And from eager-beaver rookie reporter on a decidedly unglamorous newspaper to tackling the biggest issue of all, The Wedding Dress, Gilman gleefully lays bare her gaucheness, delusions and idealism for our enjoyment. And Susan's experiences are universal, whether it's coping with mean girls at school, working for a feminist boss who, it turns out, is horrible to the women who work for her, or simply being terminally uncool. Reading like terrific fiction, this entertaining memoir will strike a chord with 20- and 30-something women everywhere.
In 1913, little Malka Treynovsky flees Russia with her family. Bedazzled by tales of gold and movie stardom, she tricks them into buying tickets for America. Yet no sooner do they land on the squalid Lower East Side of Manhattan, than Malka is crippled and abandoned in the street.Taken in by a tough-loving Italian ices peddler, she manages to survive through cunning and inventiveness. As she learns the secrets of his trade, she begins to shape her own destiny. She falls in love with a gorgeous, illiterate radical named Albert, and they set off across America in an ice cream truck. Slowly, she transforms herself into Lillian Dunkle, "The Ice Cream Queen" -- doyenne of an empire of ice cream franchises and a celebrated television personality. Lillian's rise to fame and fortune spans seventy years and is inextricably linked to the course of American history itself, from Prohibition to the disco days of Studio 54. Yet Lillian Dunkle is nothing like the whimsical motherly persona she crafts for herself in the media. Conniving, profane, and irreverent, she is a supremely complex woman who prefers a good stiff drink to an ice cream cone. And when her past begins to catch up with her, everything she has spent her life building is at stake.
Kiss My Tiara challenges The Rules and backlash books like In Defense of Modesty. Designed to help women 18-35 catch a life, not a husband, it's funny and politically irreverent, with chapters such as "Nevermind a Penis, We'll Take a Paycheck" and "How to Deal with Lunatics, Perverts and Right-wing Republicans." Like The Rules, it's based on wisdom the author received from her grandmother--except her grandmother was a feisty, gin-drinking feminist. Gilman is indignant at the mindlessness of aerobics classes, refuses to subscribe to the belief that thin thighs are more important than brains and chutzpah, and believes that if you have trouble asking for dessert you'll never be able to ask for a raise. Sprinkled with her grandmother's affirmative aphorisms ("If God didn't want us to play with ourselves, she would have made our arms shorter"), the book covers the gamut of a woman's world--relationships, money, self-esteem, sexual harassment in the workplace, and the guilt of ordering french fries. Gilman's is a sage, insightful, and witty voice in a confusing time that will make women laugh while teaching them to feel entitled, confident,
They were young, brilliant, and bold. They set out to conquer the world. But the world had other plans for them. Bestselling author Susan Jane Gilman's new memoir is a hilarious and harrowing journey, a modern heart of darkness filled with Communist operatives, backpackers, and pancakes. In 1986, fresh out of college, Gilman and her friend Claire yearned to do something daring and original that did not involve getting a job. Inspired by a place mat at the International House of Pancakes, they decided to embark on an ambitious trip around the globe, starting in the People's Republic of China. At that point, China had been open to independent travelers for roughly ten minutes. Armed only with the collected works of Nietzsche, an astrological love guide, and an arsenal of bravado, the two friends plunged into the dusty streets of Shanghai. Unsurprisingly, they quickly found themselves in over their heads. As they ventured off the map deep into Chinese territory, they were stripped of everything familiar and forced to confront their limitations amid culture shock and government surveillance. What began as a journey full of humor, eroticism, and enlightenment grew increasingly sinister-becoming a real-life international thriller that transformed them forever. Undress Me in the Temple of Heaven is a flat-out page-turner, an astonishing true story of hubris and redemption told with Gilman's trademark compassion, lyricism, and wit.
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