Blueprints for Building Better Girls

Blueprints for Building Better Girls

Fiction

Book - 2011
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Elissa Schappell's Use Me introduced us to a writer of extraordinary talent, whose "sharp, beautiful, and off-kilter debut" (Jennifer Egan) garnered critical acclaim and captivated readers. In Blueprints for Building Better Girls, her highly anticipated follow-up, she has crafted another provocative, keenly observed, and wickedly smart work of fiction that maps America's shifting cultural landscape from the late 1970s to the present day.

In these eight darkly funny linked stories, Schappell delves into the lives of an eclectic cast of archetypal female characters--from the high school slut to the good girl, the struggling artist to the college party girl, the wife who yearns for a child to the reluctant mother-- to explore the commonly shared but rarely spoken of experiences that build girls into women and women into wives and mothers. In "Monsters of the Deep," teenage Heather struggles to balance intimacy with a bad reputation; years later in "I'm Only Going to Tell You This Once," she must reconcile her memories of the past with her role as the mother of an adolescent son. In "The Joy of Cooking," a phone conversation between Emily, a recovering anorexic, and her mother explores a complex bond; in "Elephant" we see Emily's sister, Paige, finally able to voice her ambivalent feelings about motherhood to her new best friend, Charlotte. And in "Are You Comfortable?" we meet a twenty-one-year-old Charlotte cracking under the burden of a dark secret, the effects of which push Bender, a troubled college girl, to the edge in "Out of the Blue into the Black." Weaving in and out of one another's lives, whether connected by blood, or friendship, or necessity, these women create deep and lasting impressions. In revealing all their vulnerabilities and twisting our preconceived notions of who they are, Elissa Schappell, with dazzling wit and poignant prose, has forever altered how we think about the nature of female identity and how it evolves.
Publisher: New York : Simon & Schuster, 2011.
Edition: 1st Simon & Schuster hardcover ed.
ISBN: 9780743276702
0743276701
Branch Call Number: Fic
Characteristics: 288 p. ; 23 cm.

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madison382 Apr 17, 2012

I don't usually like short stories, but this book was different, some of the stories will stay with me a long time.

m
Morde
Mar 01, 2012

Does what good stories should by showing different characters at different, vulnerable times in their lives. I enjoy that there is a thread of connection between all of these stories.

rplaza Oct 06, 2011

Had a few 'stay with me' moments but often too Newyorky.

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kjt
Jul 18, 2013

Wonderful collection of short stories, representing different stereotypes of women. I knew or had been all of them at some point.

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