Bad Behavior

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Overview

Mary Gaitskill's territory in this highly acclaimed collection of short stories is the bedrooms of the urban fringe, where tenderness melds with cruelty and pornography with romance. Etched in acid and touched with grace, Bad Behavior shows us rebellious, vulnerable men and women groping for human connection - knowing that any connection is fraught with danger.

Powerful stories of dislocation, longing and desire depicting a ...

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Bad Behavior: Stories

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Overview

Mary Gaitskill's territory in this highly acclaimed collection of short stories is the bedrooms of the urban fringe, where tenderness melds with cruelty and pornography with romance. Etched in acid and touched with grace, Bad Behavior shows us rebellious, vulnerable men and women groping for human connection - knowing that any connection is fraught with danger.

Powerful stories of dislocation, longing and desire depicting a disenchanted and rebellious urban fringe.

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Editorial Reviews

George Garrett
With her first published gathering of stories, ''Bad Behavior,'' we meet a vital and gifted new writer, one whose work has an unusual importance at this time....None of the nine excellent stories is, by any means, trendy; all of them would be a challenge to any editor I know. For one thing, you actually have to read these stories and to let them happen to you before you rush to judgment. Technically, they are lean and quick and spare, tightly controlled. Ms. Gaitskill gives them the added psychological dimensions of flashing memories and dreams and fantasies to compete with their well-evoked perceptions. That she manages to accomplish these things within the confines of contemporary stories that move along as quickly and gracefully as anybody's is a small miracle. Style always works for substance, and she can and does give you plain writing or fancy, as needed....This is such a built collection, structured so that each story leads into the next, creating a new world. It is a collection I urge you to read and to read right - from beginning to end. -- New York Times
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This collection of nine stories ``marks the debut of a promising and provocative new voice,'' PW remarked. These are tales of sexual obsession, drug addiction, the darkest sides of interpersonal relationships. ``Writing about human nature at its most perverse and hopeless, Gaitskill has created an intimate and almost beautiful series of images.'' Author tour. (May)
From the Publisher
"Pinteresque...Ms. Gaitskill writes with such authority, such radar-perfect detail, that she is able to make even the most extreme situations seem real...[her] reportorial candor, uncompromised by sentimentality or voyeuristic charm...underscores the strength of her debut." — Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times

"Ferocious, terrifying stories, skillful as they are scary. Gaitskill's voice and talents are wonderfully new, as honest as rain, and as welcome in a long, dry season." — Alice Adams

"A thrilling journey into the deep anxieties of romance and desire...Stunning." — Frederick Exley

"Stubbornly original, with a sort of rhythm and fine moments that flatten you out when you don't expect it, these stories are a pleasure to read." — Alice Munro

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780679723271
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 5/28/1989
  • Series: Vintage Contemporaries Series
  • Pages: 208
  • Product dimensions: 5.15 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.55 (d)

Meet the Author

Mary Gaitskill’s novel, Veronica, was nominated for a 2005 National Book Award and was one of The New York Times’s 10 Best Books of 2005. She is also the author of the acclaimed novels Because They Wanted To and Two Girls, Fat and Thin. Her stories and essays have appeared in The New Yorker, Harper’s Magazine, Esquire, The Best American Short Stories (1993), and The O. Henry Prize Stories (1998). Her short story “Secretary” was the basis for the film of the same name. She lives in New York.

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Table of Contents

Daisy's Valentine 9
A Romantic Weekend 31
Something Nice 53
An Affair, Edited 74
Connection 85
Trying to Be 105
Secretary 131
Other Factors 148
Heaven 173
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 3 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 7, 2010

    Highly Recommended - you must check it out!! :)

    This collection of short stories is my absolute favorite. I purchased it around the release of the film "Secretary" and enjoyed not only that story, but the entire collection of dysfunctional relationships Gaitskill magnificently captures set in the 80s. I was surprised to read the differences between the film and written version of "Secretary", but it blends seamlessly into the atmosphere created of persons searching for love in any manner they can find it. A darkly humorous take on using pain to illustrate connections that can occur, no matter how fleeting. Great if you like love stories that aren't standard or typical love stories.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 6, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted August 26, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

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