Thursday, July 26, 2007

Hypocrite in a Pouffy White Dress

This memoir is a collection of humorous autobiographical essays loosely arranged in chronological sections--childhood, adolescence, and adulthood. While I enjoyed her high school encounter with Mick Jagger, on the whole, the later sections stood out for me. In particular, I was touched by her experience covering a teenage group trip to the Polish concentration camps for a Jewish newspaper. A cynical non observer, Gilman is forced to put away the jokes and look anew at her heritage. The highlight for me, though, is the title piece. The author is a committed feminist, but when she tries on a wedding dress in a bridal salon she is faced with the contradictions of the princess fantasy wedding and her previously held ideas of a less traditionally gender-proscribed marriage ideal. Although a few pieces are a little too self-absorbed, on the whole, this was a funny, fast read.

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