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The Bitch in the House: 26 Women Tell the Truth About Sex, Solitude, Work, Motherhood, and Marriage

The Bitch in the House: 26 Women Tell the Truth About Sex, Solitude, Work, Motherhood, and Marriage
Author: Cathi Hanauer
ISBN 13: 9780060936464
ISBN 10: 60936460
Edition: Reprint
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Publication Date: 2003-09-16
Format: Paperback
Pages: 304
List Price: $13.99

Virginia Woolf introduced us to the “Angel in the House”, now prepare to meet... The Bitch In the House.

Women today have more choices than at any time in history, yet many smart, ambitious, contemporary women are finding themselves angry, dissatisfied, stressed out. Why are they dissatisfied? And what do they really want? These questions form the premise of this passionate, provocative, funny, searingly honest collection of original essays in which twenty-six women writers—ranging in age from twenty-four to sixty-five, single and childless or married with children or four times divorced—invite readers into their lives, minds, and bedrooms to talk about the choices they’ve made, what’s working, and what’s not.

With wit and humor, in prose as poetic and powerful as it is blunt and dead-on, these intriguing women offer details of their lives that they’ve never publicly revealed before, candidly sounding off on:

• The difficult decisions and compromises of living with lovers, marrying, staying single and having children

• The perpetual tug of war between love and work, family and career

• The struggle to simultaneously care for ailing parents and a young family

• The myth of co-parenting

• Dealing with helpless mates and needy toddlers

• The constrictions of traditional women’s roles as well as the cliches of feminism

• Anger at laid-back live-in lovers content to live off a hardworking woman’s checkbook

• Anger at being criticized for one’s weight

• Anger directed at their mothers, right and wrong

• And–well–more anger...

“This book was born out of anger,” begins Cathi Hanauer, but the end result is an intimate sharing of experience that will move, amuse, and enlighten. The Bitch in the House is a perfect companion for your students as they plot a course through the many voices of modern feminism. This is the sound of the collective voice of successful women today-in all their anger, grace, and glory.

From The Bitch In the House:

“I believed myself to be a feminist, and I vowed never to fall into the same trap of domestic boredom and servitude that I saw my mother as being fully entrenched in; never to settle for a life that was, as I saw it, lacking independence, authority, and respect.” –E.S. Maduro, page 5

“Here are a few things people have said about me at the office: ‘You’re unflappable.’ ‘Are you ever in a bad mood?’ Here are things people—okay, the members of my family—have said about me at home: ‘‘Mommy is always grumpy.’ ‘Why are you so tense?’ ‘You’re too mean to live in this house and I want you to go back to work for the rest of your life!’” –Kristin van Ogtrop, page 161

“I didn’t want to be a bad mother I wanted to be my mother-safe, protective, rational, calm-without giving up all my anger, because my anger fueled me.” – Elissa Schappell, page 195

Publishers Weekly

In the spirit of Virginia Woolf, who wrote of killing the "Angel in the House," these 26 women mostly professional writers focus on the inner "bitch": the frustration, anger and rage that's never far from the surface of many women's lives. They sound off on the difficult decisions of living with lovers, marrying, staying single and having children. Those who haven't chosen the single life are almost always frustrated by their mates' incompetence or their toddlers' neediness. (They reserve special scorn for overly laid-back live-in lovers content to live off a hardworking woman's checkbook.) While a handful of entries touch other sources of anger being criticized for one's weight, simultaneously caring for ailing parents and a young family, coping with a husband who's out to win his baby daughter's loyalty most focus on the love vs. work problem. For many of these women, this means a struggle over the right to be a bitch and inflict unpleasantness on others for the sake of a higher goal (one's work) versus the feminine imperative to "make nice." While unbridled rage is terribly cathartic even in print it's the quieter moments that provide more food for thought. Daphne Merkin's observation that she's "more equipped to handle the risks of loneliness than those of intimacy" and thus better off divorced, or Nancy Wartik's thought that "some compromises might actually be healthy," will ring true for many readers. Others may find it comforting to know that even smart, articulate, successful women can have deeply unsettled inner lives. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.