Female

“The rare work of fiction that has changed real life . . . If you don’t yet know Molly Bolt—or Rita Mae Brown, who created her—I urge you to read and thank them both.”—Gloria Steinem
 
Winner of the Lambda Literary Pioneer Award | Winner of the Lee Lynch Classic Book Award
 
A landmark coming-of-age novel that launched the career of one of this country’s most distinctive voices, Rubyfruit Jungle remains a transformative work more than forty years after its original publication. In bawdy, moving prose, Rita Mae Brown tells the story of Molly Bolt, the adoptive daughter of a dirt-poor Southern couple who boldly forges her own path in America. With her startling beauty and crackling wit, Molly finds that women are drawn to her wherever she goes—and she refuses to apologize for loving them back. This literary milestone continues to resonate with its message about being true to yourself and, against the odds, living happily ever after.
 
Praise for Rubyfruit Jungle
 
“Groundbreaking.”—The New York Times
 
“Powerful . . . a truly incredible book . . . I found myself laughing hysterically, then sobbing uncontrollably just moments later.”—The Boston Globe
 
“You can’t fully know—or enjoy—how much the world has changed without reading this truly wonderful book.”—Andrew Tobias, author of The Best Little Boy in the World
 
“A crass and hilarious slice of growing up ‘different,’ as fun to read today as it was in 1973.”—The Rumpus
 
“Molly Bolt is a genuine descendant—genuine female descendant—of Huckleberry Finn. And Rita Mae Brown is, like Mark Twain, a serious writer who gets her messages across through laughter.”—Donna E. Shalala

“A trailblazing literary coup at publication . . . It was the right book at the right time.”—Lee Lynch, author of Beggar of Love
Mary Shelley (née Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin, often known as Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley) was a British novelist, short story writer, dramatist, essayist, biographer, travel writer, and editor of the works of her husband, Romantic poet and philosopher Percy Bysshe Shelley. She was the daughter of the political philosopher William Godwin and the writer, philosopher, and feminist Mary Wollstonecraft. Mary Shelley was taken seriously as a writer in her own lifetime, though reviewers often missed the political edge to her novels. After her death, however, she was chiefly remembered only as the wife of Percy Bysshe Shelley and as the author of Frankenstein. It was not until 1989, when Emily Sunstein published her prizewinning biography Mary Shelley: Romance and Reality, that a full-length scholarly biography analyzing all of Shelley's letters, journals, and works within their historical context was published. The well-meaning attempts of Mary Shelley's son and daughter-in-law to "Victorianise" her memory through the censoring of letters and biographical material contributed to a perception of Mary Shelley as a more conventional, less reformist figure than her works suggest. Her own timid omissions from Percy Shelley's works and her quiet avoidance of public controversy in the later years of her life added to this impression. The eclipse of Mary Shelley's reputation as a novelist and biographer meant that, until the last thirty years, most of her works remained out of print, obstructing a larger view of her achievement. She was seen as a one-novel author, if that. In recent decades, however, the republication of almost all her writings has stimulated a new recognition of its value. Her voracious reading habits and intensive study, revealed in her journals and letters and reflected in her works, is now better appreciated. Shelley's recognition of herself as an author has also been recognized; after Percy's death, she wrote about her authorial ambitions: "I think that I can maintain myself, and there is something inspiriting in the idea". Scholars now consider Mary Shelley to be a major Romantic figure, significant for her literary achievement and her political voice as a woman and a liberal.
From Paris to London to wartime New York, a young woman comes of age—and comes apart—in this witty novel by the author of The Man Who Loved Children.
 
When Letty Fox first arrives in Manhattan, her goal is to escape her chaotic upbringing in London and Paris and the cynicism of her family, and create a fresh new start. This will be the existence she dreamed of—flitting from affair to affair, debating social issues over martinis, and finishing that novel about Robespierre that will make her envied by all the right people. Yet, Letty is at odds with both the city and herself: sexually adventurous yet fidgety for lasting romance, radically independent yet conservative, as likely to be betrayed by friends as she is to betray. And when Letty runs through the streets of Greenwich Village, it’s as much to unleash her glorious appetite for life as it is to suppress the “black moods” that always threaten to derail it.

“No wonder [Christina Stead’s] work has reminded many of Tolstoy, Ibsen, Joyce,” said the New York Times Book Review. When this poisonously funny satire of the American bourgeoisie was first published in 1947, it was banned in the author’s native Australia, and met with alarm by stateside critics for its moral ambiguity. Ahead of its time with its vibrant and furious heroine, it is destined for rediscovery.
 
From an author Saul Bellow called “really marvelous,” Letty Fox is a “merciless, cruel, and magnificently unforgiving” comedy of manners (Angela Carter, London Review of Books).
That neither nature nor nurture bears exclusive responsibility for a child's character is self-evident. But generalizations about genes are likely to provide cold comfort if it's your own child who just opened fire on his feellow algebra students and whose class photograph—with its unseemly grin—is shown on the evening news coast-to-coast.

If the question of who's to blame for teenage atrocity intrigues news-watching voyeurs, it tortures our narrator, Eva Khatchadourian. Two years before the opening of the novel, her son, Kevin, murdered seven of his fellow high school students, a cafeteria worker, and the much-beloved teacher who had tried to befriend him. Because his sixteenth birthday arrived two days after the killings, he received a lenient sentence and is currently in a prison for young offenders in upstate New York.

In relating the story of Kevin's upbringing, Eva addresses her estranged husband, Frank, through a series of startingly direct letters. Fearing that her own shortcomings may have shaped what her son became, she confesses to a deep, long-standing ambivalence about both motherhood in general—and Kevin in particular. How much is her fault?

We Need To Talk About Kevin offers no at explanations for why so many white, well-to-do adolescents—whether in Pearl, Paducah, Springfield, or Littleton—have gone nihilistically off the rails while growing up in the most prosperous country in history. Instead, Lionel Shriver tells a compelling, absorbing, and resonant story with an explosive, haunting ending. She considers motherhood, marriage, family, career—while framing these horrifying tableaus of teenage carnage as metaphors for the larger tragedy of a country where everything works, nobody starves, and anything can be bought but a sense of purpose.
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