Title: Hypocrite in a Pouffy White Dress
Author: Susan Jane Gilman
Release Date: January 1, 2005
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Genre: Non-fiction, Essays, Memoir
Rating: 4 out of 5
From the back cover:
Based on the belief that there’s more to women’s lives than just getting a date, Gilman’s stories tell of struggling to get a life and a clue – and engaging in some spectacularly demented behavior along the way. Whether she’s an uncool white kid in a tough Puerto Rican neighborhood twirling around in her tutu, a teenager chasing rock stars, an ambitious cub reporter realizing there’s more to the world than her own navel, or a feminist bride-to-be unexpectedly finding nirvana in David’s Bridal salon, Gilman’s memoir is so engaging it reads like the very best fiction. At turns heartbreaking, insightful, and screamingly funny, it uniquely chronicles a generation – and heralds a talented writer of note.
After reading Susan Jane Gilman’s Undress Me in the Temple of Heaven [review] and listening to hear speak on a Blog Talk Radio show, I was thrilled when I got the chance to review Gilman’s first two books. Hypocrite in a Pouffy White Dress is Gilman’s second non-fiction book.
As with most books like this, some of the essays in Hypocrite in a Pouffy White Dress are funnier than others, but I was surprised at how many of them were really good. Usually, there are some really good ones, some really bad ones, and the rest are so-so. With Gilman’s book, there are a few so-so ones, some pretty good ones, and many really good essays. I was impressed with the quality of this book, overall.
My two favorite essays were near the end of the book. The first was “Your Tax Dollars, Hard at Work” in which Gilman describes being a congressional staffer. Living in DC, I know a lot of people who have suffered through this occupation, so it was really funny to read about her snarky take on it. I also loved the title essay – reading about Gilman rail against traditional marriages and then fall in love with a typical, white, puffy wedding dress at David’s Bridal? Classic.
Since the book is written in essay format, you really don’t lose anything by taking it slow. It’s not necessarily to read all of them, or to read them in order, so this is a great leisure book. If you have been looking to read more non-fiction but don’t know where to start, Hypocrite in a Pouffy White Dress is a book that will likely hold your interest. I can’t wait to read Gilman’s first book!
Thank you to the publisher for sending me this book to review.