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While Conway doesn't quite prove the case that reading autobiographies provides a "humanistic discourse" with which to scrutinize our own lives, she demonstrates the need to critically think about our own inherited scripts so that our actions, not our stories, define us. Even for those who aren't on the memoir bandwagon, Conway's insights into history, culture, and identity make When Memory Speaks worthy reading. You may never think of your own story the same again. Friedan's a slob which explains her famous no-housework rant and her marriage was a loveless ruin Carl Friedan used to beat the crap out her, but, hey, Betty got in a few shots, too , which should delight the old-guard, Eagle Forum types.

Twenty-three-year-old Not Feminists will shake their heads sadly, secure in the knowledge that they have nothing in common with a woman like Friedan. She's so insecure she couldn't get along with her own shadow, much less the other feminist leaders she's always lumped in with -- most especially, Gloria Steinem. One thing Hennessee makes clear, and it's an important point: Friedan collided with other feminists, both because she differed from them in ideology and because she was always jockeying for position.

Friedan is not much of a collaborator. But to tell the truth, I don't know what this book is intended to do. For if we come away with nothing else about Betty Friedan, it is this: She is not nice. This information is undeniably important in a biography.

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And in Friedan's case, her irascibility and total insensitivity toward others not to mention her drinking probably held her back -- as an author, a leader, and a human being. This seems to me to dovetail with one of Friedan's points of her seminal work, The Feminine Mystique. She said: In our society, if women were not nice and did not marry and keep house and raise beautiful children, they were considered Not Really Women. That was an awful thing to be, because there was nothing much you could do about it.

Who's Irish?: Stories

Betty Friedan, for all her flaws for publicity purposes, she even misrepresented herself as a suburban hausfrau breaking free -- she was never that challenged that assumption. And the world hasn't been the same since. And actually, after the chapter on The Feminine Mystique , Hennessee's book sort of lapses into a and-then-this-happened, and-then-that-happened reportage about her years with the National Organization for Women and the National Women's Political Caucus.

Before that, we're treated to an interesting psychological study of a woman learning to become her own worst enemy. Friedan was always jealous of her younger, prettier, but less brainy sister; her father died before she had a chance to make up with him after an argument; she might have become one of the country's most eminent psychologists, if she had not succumbed to graduate student panic and turned down a prestigious fellowship.

But maybe Hennessee's book only follows Friedan's tragic lead -- brilliant and promising at the outset, crotchety and hateable in the middle, now worn out and probably going to die soon. Horton Foote's Farewell: A Memoir of a Texas Childhood , is a fond reminiscence of the people and place that raised him. For those born in these parts, reading it is like listening to your grandfather talk. Judging from the tender, if not always flattering, anecdotes about friends and relatives, Foote would agree with another Southern storyteller, Harry Crews, who once wrote, "Nothing is allowed to die in a society of storytelling people.

Foote doesn't pull any punches about South Texas' harsh racial and religious environment in the early part of this century. Although prejudice abounded, the author makes the oblique observation that good people do what's right -- or at least what they think is right. A staunch Al Smith Democrat, Foote's father remarked about the presidential election, "God knows what Texas will do, son. The Baptists run Texas, but they don't run me. All this is not to say I don't empathize with one reviewer who wrote, perhaps harshly, "It's like being trapped in a tiny room with an elderly relative, forced hour after hour to listen to pointless reminiscences, shopworn stories, and didactic meanderings.

After establishing himself as one of the country's preeminent men of letters, Foote returned to Wharton, about 45 miles southwest of Houston. He again resides in the same house he grew up in as a boy.

Table of Contents for: Who's Irish? : stories

In a career that has spanned more than five decades, he has collected most of the literary accolades short of the Nobel Prize. Roberts Got opinions about food, arts, shopping, and everything else good in Austin? Let your voice be heard in our annual Best of Austin ballot. Voting is open now!

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Scholz Garten: Autumn Equinox Party. Gish Jen is hilarious capturing so much of what it means to be a ChineseAmerican. Who's Irish? Gish Jen. In eight wonderfully alive stories, the acclaimed author of Mona in the Promised Land and Typical American chronicles Chinese and other Americans as they exuberantly win, lose, love, hate, overachieve, underachieve, and generally take on America--with sometimes comic, sometimes heartbreaking results.

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Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Preview — Who's Irish? Who's Irish? The stories in Who's Irish? With dazzling wit and compassion, Gish Jen--author of the acclaimed novels Typical American and Mona in the Promised Land --looks at ambition and compromise at century's end and finds that much of the action is as familiar--and as strange--as the things we know to be most deeply true about ourselves.

Get A Copy. Paperback , pages. Published June 13th by Vintage first published More Details Original Title.

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Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Oct 16, Ramona rated it liked it. Feb 13, Corinne rated it it was amazing Shelves: short-stories. What a great collection of stories. I picked this up after reading a Samantha Lan Chang interview where she cites Gish as a similar author. Gish has a wonderful roughness to her writing, a deadpan humor that eases the harshness of the stories. While I wouldn't necessarily compare these stories with Chang's, I'm eager to pick up a novel.

House, House, Home, the last story in the book, really got into the question of voluntary exclusion. Juxtaposing an eccentric and affluent art professor with Pam What a great collection of stories. Juxtaposing an eccentric and affluent art professor with Pammie, a child of immigrant parents who was raised poor and with struggle, told a bigger story of how we ascribe ourselves to an identify just as much as we rebel against that which we came from. Oct 08, Michael Malone rated it really liked it. Eight short stories focused essentially on the Chinese experience in America, with one on the Chinese- American experience in China.