A trade paperback reissue of National Book Award finalist Mary Gaitskill’s debut collection, Bad Behavior—powerful stories about dislocation, longing, and. This collection of nine stories by Avery Hopwood Award-winner Gaitskill marks the debut of a promising and provocative new voice. These are tales of sexual. Mary Gaitskill (born November 11, ) is an American novelist, essayist, and short story Gaitskill attempted to find a publisher for four years before her first book, the short story collection Bad Behavior, was published in The first four.

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Virginia’s four children grow up, and there are detail-laden memories of each one. The stories were dull, trite, and meaningless.

Gaitskill’s fiction is typically about female characters dealing with their own inner conflicts, and her subject matter matter-of-factly includes many “taboo” subjects such behavipr prostitutionaddictionand sado-masochism.

I know I probably sound like a lunatic, and maybe I am. I nearly put the book down because its treatment of everything seemed so distant and no one seemed to like gaitskipl else much at all.

And I no longer have to answer. And then he became really tender and that made me sad. Of course the words were always the same, and it was me who changed. Sep 02, Greg rated it liked it Shelves: So yeah, I highly recommend.

I find myself landing squarely on the fence for this collection – there were three stories I really admired “Daisy’s Valentine”, “Secretary”, and “Heaven”a couple I actively disliked “Something Nice”, “An Affair, Edited”the others left me largely unmoved.

Mary Gaitskill

Even more unsettling, I am deeply familiar with every crimped ambition, tainted motive and blurred rationalization of the part-time prostitutes, full-time lechers and would-be creative giants that leaks through in these queasy, heartrending depictions of the individual and global entropy that seems to be the bedrock of civilized society. I feel like she would then act all offended at the prudishness of the person sitting with her and the people sitting around her that were now giving her weird looks.

People who want to look naughty but not really be naughty. I pass no judgment on their lives and choices; I accept their abject humanity as bits of my own. Jun 27, Weinz rated it really liked it Shelves: All my books are really about un-socially supported love. There’s a sentence or a I don’t know why it’s taken me 34 years to discover some very essential things about myself, the most obvious to others, but it has.


Take for instance the closing moments of the ultimate story in Bad Behavior where Gaitskill paints the image of what’s left of the family sitting down to dinner of steak and pasta, where the patriarch remarks that this is “just like A lot of realist writing, especially of short stories, in the ’80s fell in to a trap of capturing small moments in economic prose, trusting that the economy of language and the quaintness of scene pack a wallop of emotion–a kind of Hemingway-ian philosophy, I think.

I still have a story and a half to finish, but I feel ready to jot a quick review. This kind of anti-metaphor of the ’80s realists, I think, is what makes most, if not all of these stories feel so empty and void of meaning, feeling, content and value.

Mary Gaitskill: ‘Literature is not a realm for politeness’ | Books | The Guardian

This collection of short stories was well-written, incredibly gaitskipl, but the content and the lack of “there” there, the emptiness of gaitskil all, was disconcerting to me.

It’s accessible and worth watching to see Maggie Gyllenhaal and James Spader act. OK, not really, but for once I wanted to be wrong. And “Secretary”, by the way, is super different than the movie. I thought of a few things, and they seemed sort of worth saying but when I got home I decided to look at a review I wrote about three and half years ago for the other Mary Gaitskill collection I’d read, and I found that some of the very witty things I thought of saying I’d actually already said in less witty formats.

I frequently found myself wondering how a given two characters could bear talking to each other for five minutes, let alone long enough to imagine they wanted to have some sort of relationship with each other.


It takes the relationship between a woman not unlike herself called Ginger, an artist, and a New York Dominican teenager, Velvet, who comes to stay with her as part of the Fresh Air Fund scheme that Gaitskill and her husband volunteered for. These are not, in any case, sexy stories. I find the outside world too depressing. I may have done that to you because I responded to you sexually, but in general, I don’t.

The fact that women are harassed, that they are seen as bda objects, that they are abused, this is all taken for granted in this book. She is sort of into it—it makes her both masturbate furiously and hate herself more. Any woman that shows up to read an excerpt from one of her books, braless, is dying for attention. If you want to read a collection of stories about some pretty effed up people who might seem on the outside to be perfectly in control of their lives and children and careers, read this.

Retrieved February 2, In “Trying to Be”, Stephanie becomes a prostitute out of contempt for boring office work. But I was even more interested in the quality of mind with which Gaitskill imbued her characters. Apr 01, Stefani rated it it was amazing. I was utterly confused. Another spoiled, pretty daughter who fancied behavio a gypsy princess, barefooted, spangled with bright beads, breasts arrogantly unbound, cavalier in love.

Why do I love this story so much?

Thanks for telling us about the problem. Gaitskill’s favorite writers have changed over time, as she noted in a interview, [9] but one constant is the author Vladimir Nabokovwhose Lolita “will be on my ten favorites list until the end of my life.

I’d only read “A Romantic Weekend” before this collection, which disturbed me and which I still feel is a straight-up horror story.