Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Happy Launch Day, Courtney! And a mea culpa...

Two quick updates from the reading/s front:

Courtney Martin's Perfect Girls, Starving Daughters goes on sale today! Check out Courtney's report from the front, on her blog. Great review by Holly Brubach in Sunday's Style magazine. Courtney's is one you don't want to miss.

Second, mea culpa - and to my relief. In spite of an effectively provocative but somewhat misleading title (The Feminine Mistake) that SAHMs have taken offense too, perhaps missing the Friedan reference, Leslie Bennetts is very GOOD on structure in numerous places. Check out, for starters, the chapters titled "Opting Out" and "Opting Back In," where she cites my new favorite sociologist, Pamela Stone, among others, extensively. And she incorporates some great structural zingers, like this one, from Sylvia Law: "This line about how women have to pick between having a family and having real work is sexist...When you say to women, and only women, 'You have to pick,' it's a way of keeping women in their place by saying, 'This is the way it is.' The Times likes to tell the story as if the structures are immovable and you have to accept them." Yeah, well, so do a lot of these books claiming to assuage women's angst. But I digress.

The question remains: In an era (and in a blogosphere) in which savvy authors KNOW people have no qualms voicing an opinion without reading the book, is it fair -- or disingenuous -- for us to rail against those who judge our books by their covers when our titles are, for better or worse, intended to provoke?

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