In Praise of Difficult Women : Life Lessons from 29 Heroines Who Dared to Break the Rules
by Karbo, Karen; Strayed, Cheryl (FRW); Glyder, Kimberly (ILT)

Cheryl Strayed
J. K. Rowling
Elizabeth Taylor
Gloria Steinem
Amy Poehler
Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Josephine Baker
Rachel Maddow
Coco Chanel
Martha Gellhorn
Shonda Rhimes
Eva Peron
Helen Gurley Brown
Edie Sedgwick
Angela Merkel
Billie Jean King
Jane Goodall
Vita Sackville-West
Elizabeth Warren
Margaret Cho
Amelia Earhart
Frida Kahlo
Nora Ephron
Diana Vreeland
Kay Thompson
Laverne Cox
Hillary Rodham Clinton
Janis Joplin
Lena Dunham
Carrie Fisher

Presents information on female rule-breakers, including Josephine Baker, Jane Goodall, Margaret Cho, and Hillary Rodham Clinton.

KAREN KARBO is the author of multiple award-winning novels, memoirs and works of nonfiction. Her best-selling "Kick-Ass Women" series includes The Gospel According to Coco Chanel: Life Lessons from the World's Most Elegant Woman, which was an international bestseller. Karbo's short stories, essays, articles and reviews have appeared in Elle, Vogue, Esquire, Outside, the New York Times, Salon, and other publications. She is a recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in Fiction, and a winner of the General Electric Younger Writer Award. Karbo lives in Portland, Oregon, where she continues to kick ass.

Karbo, author of The Gospel According to Coco Chanel (2009), compiles this epic collection of mini biographies. The selection of subjects ranges from painters to politicians; from Josephine Baker to Margaret Cho to Amelia Earhart to Laverne Cox. All 29 women profiled fit Karbo's definition of a "difficult woman": unapologetic, uncompromising, and undeterred by the obstacles of living in a sexist society. Each of the essays highlights the trickiest moments of its subject's life and how she blasted through whatever glass ceiling was in her way-all told with Karbo's conversational warmth and sharp wit. Countless memorable stories about familiar figures can be found within: the time Frida Kahlo was commissioned to paint a portrait in memory of a friend and in turn presented a gruesome image of the friend's suicide; how Angela Merkel celebrated the fall of the Berlin Wall by not missing her weekly scheduled sauna; and endless Carrie Fisher comebacks. Overall, the book is a wonderfully readable introduction to today's and history's heroines who refused to follow the rules. Copyright 2018 Booklist Reviews.

Karbo (Julia Child Rules: Lessons on Savoring Life, 2013, etc.) sketches the lives of 29 extraordinary women.The author defines "difficult" women as those who believe their "needs, passions, and goals are at least as important as those of everyone around" them. In this book, Karbo creates word portraits-accompanied by drawings-of modern women who refused to let any social, cultural, or personal barriers stand in the way of their respective "mission[s]." Her subjects run the gamut from writers, artists, and performers to athletes, politicians, and media executives and include luminaries such as J.K. Rowling, Josephine Baker, Billie Jean King, Helen Gurley Brown, and Hillary Clinton. Karbo begins each portrait with one word that helps describe the woman: Rowling is "feisty," Baker "gutsy," King "competitive," Brown "relentless," and Clinton "ambitious." She then highlights those parts of her subjects' lives that have earned them reputations as "difficult." Despite m onumental success as a novelist, Rowling refused to allow herself to be "imprisoned by her role as creator of one of the most beloved fictional universes in literary history." Dancer Baker dared to shake "body parts no one knew you could shake" up until four days before her death at age 68. King, who beat fellow tennis player Bobby Riggs in a 1973 "battle of the sexes" tennis match, fought tirelessly for "equal pay, equal treatment [and] equal respect" for women athletes. For more than 50 years, Brown advocated that women should not only enjoy the glamorous life, but also become sex objects, the better to enjoy the sexual freedom. Clinton kept moving forward toward lofty goals like the presidency despite the sexual and political scandals that rocked her husband's administration. Refreshingly frank, Karbo's book celebrates women who forged provocative identities and found life fulfillment despite the odds they faced. Inspiring reading about women who have shown "that it's all right to occupy our humanity." Copyright Kirkus 2017 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

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