BN.com Gift Guide

The Girls' Guide to Hunting and Fishing

( 125 )

Overview

Hailed by critics as the debut of a major literary, The Girls' Guide to Hunting and Fishing has dazzled and delighted readers and topped bestseller lists nationwide. Generous-hearted and wickedly insightful, The Girls' Guide to Hunting and Fishing maps the progress of Jane Rosenal as she sets out on a personal and spirited expedition through the perilous terrain of sex, love, and relationships, and the treacherous waters of the workplace. With an unforgettable comic spin on the mating dance, and captures in ...

See more details below
Available through our Marketplace sellers.
Other sellers (Audiobook)
  • All (13) from $1.99   
  • New (2) from $2.89   
  • Used (11) from $1.99   
Close
Sort by
Page 1 of 1
Showing All
Note: Marketplace items are not eligible for any BN.com coupons and promotions
$2.89
Seller since 2010

Feedback rating:

(25)

Condition:

New — never opened or used in original packaging.

Like New — packaging may have been opened. A "Like New" item is suitable to give as a gift.

Very Good — may have minor signs of wear on packaging but item works perfectly and has no damage.

Good — item is in good condition but packaging may have signs of shelf wear/aging or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Acceptable — item is in working order but may show signs of wear such as scratches or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Used — An item that has been opened and may show signs of wear. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Refurbished — A used item that has been renewed or updated and verified to be in proper working condition. Not necessarily completed by the original manufacturer.

New
Unabridged New Shelf wear.

Ships from: Cartersville, GA

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
$33.94
Seller since 2014

Feedback rating:

(320)

Condition: New
Brand New Item.

Ships from: Chatham, NJ

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
Page 1 of 1
Showing All
Close
Sort by
The Girls' Guide to Hunting and Fishing

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 7.0
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 10.1
  • NOOK HD Tablet
  • NOOK HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK eReaders
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$12.99
BN.com price
This digital version does not exactly match the physical book displayed here.
Marketplace
BN.com

All Available Formats & Editions

Overview

Hailed by critics as the debut of a major literary, The Girls' Guide to Hunting and Fishing has dazzled and delighted readers and topped bestseller lists nationwide. Generous-hearted and wickedly insightful, The Girls' Guide to Hunting and Fishing maps the progress of Jane Rosenal as she sets out on a personal and spirited expedition through the perilous terrain of sex, love, and relationships, and the treacherous waters of the workplace. With an unforgettable comic spin on the mating dance, and captures in perfect pitch what it's like to be a young woman coming of age in America today.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Bitch Magazine
Melissa Bank gets it exactly right: her Jane Rosenal is intelligent, witty, perspective, and moody—and has a lot more her mind than where her next boyfriend is coming from; you could have dinner with her, you could work with her, you could be her.
Jenny Turner
The nicest thing about this book is the epigraphs. There are lots, taken from the advice manuals on which the great American character was built....The stories, however, are less ironic than their epigraphs might suggest. They have a curiously sheltered and olde-world quality, charming in a way, but also odd.
London Review of Books
Cosmopolitan
The summer's best beach book.
Christopher Lehmann-Haupt
...[A] charming, funny collection of seven linked fictions....[A]ll the considerable humor of these stories turns on Jane's wonderfully clear sense of the trickiness of language....The Girls' Guide to Hunting and Fishing...[contains] amusing lessons in how to stalk and find...yourself.
The New York Times
Time Magazine
Truly poignant....There is an exquisite honesty to Jane's relationships.
Mademoiselle
Gorgeous and wise.
USA Today
Because Jane is funny and perceptive, the reader willingly goes places with her.
From The Critics
...[Jane] is consistently braving [dating] turmoil with perspective and a sardonic attitude....[W]ithin its final 45 pages...a successful balance of inventiveness, humanity and intelligence is created....[T]hese pages provide the book's most endearing moments.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Banks's debut short story collection about the mixed-up dating life of Jane Rosenal was a hit on the beach-reading circuit this summer. Hearing the author's conviction while she reads her work proves why: there is an uncanny likeness between the writer and her feisty-but-neurotic heroine. Banks plays up this mood by narrating in a quiet, seductive voice--one that nonetheless manages to convey a sense of sustained desperation. The episodes move chronologically, starting with Jane's girl's-eye view of her older brother, Henry, in bumbling action as he dates an older, more sophisticated woman. At age 16, Jane moves in with a great-aunt in her Manhattan apartment, then sees the world through her host's jaded eyes. Later, as a lowly assistant in publishing, she is seduced by an older editor, a super-macho alcoholic who suffers impotence. Banks's gifts of distanced objectivity--as author and reader--dovetail here with stylish panache. Based on the 1999 Viking hardcover. (Aug.) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
Bank structures her tongue-in-cheek exploration of relationships by playing off the genre of self-help guides, even including a manual called "How To Meet and Marry Mr. Right" to set her novel's climax. The book is filled with some wonderfully humorous lines and insights as our young heroine, Jane, grows up in bewilderment, lurching from one disastrous affair to another. Yet it suffers terribly from an awkward handling of dialog from the Dick & Jane school of repartee--"he said, she said, I said" litter the conversations. Lorelei King's reading heightens the annoyance at the author's lack of skill. If this audio is meant as parody, Bank doesn't pull it off successfully. It might appeal mostly to female adolescents, but for others the attraction will quickly wear thin.--Joyce Kessel, Villa Maria Coll., Buffalo, NY Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.\
Self
Witty, sparkling.
People Magazine
Refreshingly down-to-earth....A funny fictional report on the dating wars.
The Missouri Review
Most of the stories in The Girl's Guide to Hunting and Fishing revolve around Jane Rosenal and detail her progress in relationships, from her vicarious participation, as an adolescent, in her older brother's love life, through several bittersweet affairs of her own, to a romantic finale when Jane finds her perfect counterpart. One particularly impressive feature of this book is Bank's skill with dialogue. Rather than relying on firstperson musings to push the stories forward, Bank uses lively, often absurd, surprisingly resonant conversations between her characters to keep things moving.
Yahlin Chang
...[C]aptivating...fast and funny with real moments of poignancy....Bank draws exquisite protraits of loneliness, and she can do it in a sentence.
Newsweek
Jenny Turner
The nicest thing about this book is the epigraphs. There are lots, taken from the advice manuals on which the great American character was built....The stories, however, are less ironic than their epigraphs might suggest. They have a curiously sheltered and olde-world quality, charming in a way, but also odd.
London Review of Books
Lisa Schwarzbaum
...[I]rresistible...swinging, funny, and tender...[T]he pre-publication excitement about Girls' Guide is warranted....Bank...fishes deep in her literary debut and hooks a winner.
Entertainment Weekly
Christopher Lehmann-Haupt
...[A] charming, funny collection of seven linked fictions....[A]ll the considerable humor of these stories turns on Jane's wonderfully clear sense of the trickiness of language....The Girls' Guide to Hunting and Fishing...[contains] amusing lessons in how to stalk and find...yourself.
The New York Times
USA Today
Because Jane is funny and perceptive, the reader willingly goes places with her.
Time Magazine
Truly poignant....There is an exquisite honesty to Jane's relationships.
Cosmopolitan
The summer's best beach book.
Mademoiselle
Gorgeous and wise.
Elaine Szewczyk
...[Jane] is consistently braving [dating] turmoil with perspective and a sardonic attitude....[W]ithin is final 45 pages...a successful blanace of inventiveness,human and intelligence is created....[T]hese pages provide the book's most endearing moments.
Book
Janet Steen
If you're a female New Yorker in your thirties with a few romantic blowouts under your belt, you might feel obligated to love Bank's much-buzzed-about, gal-friendly collection of stories: It's the easiest, breeziest summer read to wash up on Manhattan's littered shore in a long time...Bank's strengths lie in her lively pacing and crackling dialogue.
Time Out New York
Kirkus Reviews
A smart, ruefully funny chronicle of a modern young woman's search for love. When we meet Jane Rosenal, she's a wisecracking 14-year-old whose sassy wit keeps the world at bay but also gets the attention of her affectionate yet slightly distant parents. First-novelist Bank creates a dead-on teenage voice from her opening lines, making protagonist Jane both mildly obnoxious and appealingly vulnerable as she relates her efforts to decipher what went wrong between her older brother, Henry, and his upper-crust girlfriend, Julia. In subsequent chapters, the author skillfully allows Jane's narration to evolve as the young girl struggles toward maturity and Mr. Right. When she gets an entry-level job in publishing and becomes involved with a much older editor, Archie Knox, Bank's insightfully nuanced portrait shows Archie helping Jane grow professionally — particularly by guiding her through the treacherous office currents created by a boss subtly determined to keep her down — while keeping a firm upper hand emotionally. When her father reveals he has leukemia, the reserve between parent and child is breached, and the support Jane finds enables her to leave Archie. The final segment wickedly spoofs The Rules and other manipulative man-hunting guides as Jane nearly scares off her Prince Charming by behaving in ways completely alien to her open, candid nature; the satire wears thin after a time, but the finale's warmth all but makes up for it. The novel takes the currently fashionable form of freestanding chapters that read like short stories that just happen to be about the same character. Two of them — a first-person vignette by someone other than Jane; an odd second-personaccount of breast cancer and an excessively devoted boyfriend — don't really fit in, but otherwise Bank's debut is a model of well-crafted narrative building to a thoughtful, hopeful conclusion.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780141800288
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 6/1/1999
  • Format: Cassette
  • Edition description: Unabridged, 4 Cassettes
  • Pages: 2
  • Product dimensions: 4.18 (w) x 7.12 (h) x 1.12 (d)

Meet the Author

Melissa Bank

Melissa Bank, author of the phenomenal bestseller The Girls' Guide to Hunting and Fishing,   won the 1993 Nelson Algren Award for short fiction. She has published stories in the Chicago Tribune, Zoetrope, The North American Review, Other Voices, and Ascent. Her work has also been heard on "Selected Shorts" on National Public Radio. She holds an MFA from Cornell University and divides her time between New York City and East Hampton.

Biography

"When I sit down to write," Melissa Bank has said, "I don't have any real goals except to follow one good sentence with another... I'm not the kind of writer who has a map." The author offers a fair impression of her work: It does not hinge on intricate plots or artistic conceits. Rather, it's founded on her female protagonists and their ability to distill emotional truths into spare, dryly witty comments.

Bank writes about women growing up and figuring it all out, and she writes it with humor and a wide lens. Her 1999 debut, a collection of linked short stories entitled The Girls' Guide to Hunting and Fishing,, follows single New Yorker Jane Rosenal in her discoveries about love and dating. Structured as snapshots in Jane's life, the chapters follow her as she evolves from a teen studying her brother and his girlfriend to a young woman sifting through various relationships of her own.

There are lots of men in Bank's writing, and even more quips. At one point, Jane's older boyfriend tells her, ‘You're just like Nora, and I'm like Nick [Charles, of The Thin Man]. We're like Bogart and Bacall. Like Hepburn and Tracy.' Jane shoots back, ‘More like Mr. Wilson and Dennis the Menace.' Bank's main characters represent the funny girl's view of life, with all the attendant insecurity and puzzlement, making them notably different from those of a straightforwardly romantic or sentimental writer.

The author could easily train her eye on romantic travails and leave it at that; she is sensitive and clever enough for the job. But what's nice about Melissa Bank's books is how she includes the ways other people in women's lives teach them about themselves: brothers, fathers, girlfriends. In between the Sex and the City-style episodes, there are family complications and work challenges.

Those who found something to like in The Girls' Guide found more of it in her followup novel The Wonder Spot, published six years later. Like its predecessor, this book featured a young woman who moves to New York and works in publishing while navigating the intricacies of men, family and career. However, Bank seemed to develop her passages more substantially. "Pound for pound, line for line, story for story, The Wonder Spot is a better-honed and steadier volume," Janet Maslin wrote in The New York Times.

Because of Bank's loose structural style, you won't likely find consensus on whether her books are novels or story collections -- they've been called both. Each chapter reads like a short story, and each chapter contains frequent breaks in the prose to capture a detail or a new moment. Bank doesn't offer a beginning-to-end account of each relationship she introduces; but even though it would probably be interesting if she did, she doesn't leave the reader unsatisfied. Instead, she relays the salient details and gives just enough information to set the stage for the next scene. It's a formula that more than satisfies her many fans.

Good To Know

"Basically, all anyone has to do is ask me for fun details or tell me to be creative and my mind turns to mud. I am instantly the most boring person you've ever met."

"For example, what springs to mind is my love for public radio. I know this makes me sound like I belong in the 1940s (and maybe I do), but I think radio is truly a writer's medium."

"On the other hand, I don't have a TV; or, that is, I don't have cable. It's not because I'm high-minded or think I'm above TV -- the opposite. When I was writing ad copy during the day and fiction at night, I realized that I hadn't turned on the TV in over a year and, as I lived (and live) in a small apartment, decided the ugly box didn't deserve the space it took up. I live by Edith Wharton's rule to get rid of anything neither useful nor beautiful. So I put the TV out on the street."

"Now I'm like a girl from Mars. I'm mesmerized by TV. I can't tear myself away from it. I actually go to the gym to watch TV. I can stay on the treadmill or Stairmaster for an hour if there's a good program on.."

"I grew up in the suburbs, and when I was little I told my mother I'd seen rats in the woods behind our house and in the creek behind school and in the parking lot where the garbage trucks were parked. I'd never seen a rat -- I was naming the places where I was afraid rats might be. While I begged her to call the exterminator, she infuriated me with an irrelevant lecture about honesty. Is this a story about my early career as a liar foreshadowing my later career as a fiction writer? No. It's a story about rats -- which both terrify and fascinate me. When I see one, I'm as thrilled as I am scared."

Read More Show Less
    1. Hometown:
      New York, New York
    1. Date of Birth:
      October 11, 1960
    2. Place of Birth:
      Boston, Massachusetts
    1. Education:
      B.A., Hobart William Smith, 1982; M.F.A., Cornell University, 1987

Read an Excerpt

The Girls' Guide to Hunting and Fishing

My best friend is getting married. Her wedding is only two weeks away, and I still don't have a dress to wear. In desperation, I decide to go to Loehmann's in the Bronx. My friend Donna offers to come with me, saying she needs a bathing suit, but I know a mercy mission when I see one.
"It might be easier if you were bringing a date," Donna says in the car, on the Major Deegan Expressway. "But maybe you'll meet somebody."
When I don't answer, she says, "who was the last guy you felt like you could bring to a wedding?"
I know she's not asking a question as much as trying to broach the subject of my unsocial life. But I say, "That French guy I went out with."
"I forgot about him," she says. "What was his name again?"
"Fuckface," I say.
"That's right," she says.

* * *
At the entrance to the store, we separate and plan to meet in an hour. I'm an expert shopper, discerning fabric content by touch, identifying couture at a glance. Here at Loehmann's, on Broadway at 237th Street, I'm in my element — Margaret Mead observing the coming of age in Samoa, Aretha Franklin demanding R-E-S-P-E-C-T in Motor City.
Even so, I search for a whole hour without finding a single maybe, until I see it, my perfect dress, a black Armani sheath — but only in an ant-sized 2 and a spider 4.
I think, A smarter woman than I am bought my 10 at Saks or Barneys weeks ago, knowing it would never find its way to Loehmann's. She knew her dress when she saw it and didn't hesitate. That woman is zipping up her sheath right now, on her way to meet the man she loves.
But in the communal fitting room, Donna hands me the black Armani sheath in a 10 — the one that almost got away. I take this as an omen.
Is the dress perfect? It is so perfect.
I say, "You're my fairy godshopper," and sit on the fitting-room bench, holding the sheath in my arms while Donna tries on bathing suits. She adjusts the straps of a chocolate maillot and frowns at herself in the mirror. She doesn't know how beautiful she is, especially her sultry, heavy-lidded eyes; she says people stop her on the street and tell her to get some rest.
"No wonder I'm single," she says to the mirror. "Even I don't want to get into bed with these thighs."
I say that getting married isn't like winning the Miss America Pageant; it doesn't all come down to the bathing suit competition.
"What do you think it comes down to?" she says.
I say, "Baton twirling."

* * *
Afterward, we celebrate our purchases over turkey burgers at the Riverdale Diner. In a put-on silky voice, I say, "I am a woman who wears Armani."
"Clothes are armor," she says.
I don't need armor, I tell her; I'm happy for Max and Sophie.
"I hate weddings," she says. "They make me feel so unmarried. Actually, even brushing my teeth makes me feel unmarried."
She stops doing her shtick, and suddenly she does look tired; her lids practically cover her eyes. She tells me she's been reading a terrible book called How to Meet and Marry Mr. Right. "Their main advice is to play hard to get. Basically, it's a guide to manipulation."
I say that maybe she should stop reading it.
"I know," she says, only half agreeing. "But it's like I've been trying to catch a fish by swimming around with them. I keep making myself get in the water again. I try different rivers. I change my strokes. But nothing works. Then I find this guide that tells me about fishing poles and bait, and how to cast and what to do when the line gets taut." She stops and thinks. "The depressing part is that you know it'll work."
I say, "I hate fish."

* * *
The wedding is held at a restored mansion on the Hudson. I come up here sometimes on Sundays. If there isn't a wedding going on, you can pay admission to tour the house and grounds, but I pay my $4.50 just to sit in an Adirondack chair and read the newspaper and look at the river. It's a spot so idyllic that it makes you feel you're in a painting — a Seurat — and for a while I kept hoping a gentleman in shirtsleeves and a boater would dot-dot-dot over to me. Then I overheard a guard say that this place was just for the pinks and grays — wedding parties and senior citizens.
I arrive in the rainy late afternoon to help Sophie dress. I'm directed upstairs to the first door on the left, where I expect an old-fashioned bedroom with lace curtains, a vanity and a four-poster bed, but I find Sophie and her friends in a conference room with stacked plastic chairs and a slide projector. She's at the lectern, clowning in her bra and stockings.
I go up to her and the words blushing bride come to mind, though she is, in fact, an almost constant blusher — from sun or wind, laughing, crying, anger or wine. Now she actually appears to be glowing, and I kiss her and say, "Hello little glowworm."
Her hilarious friend Mavis pours me a big glass of wine; she's pregnant and says that I have to drink for two now.
After I help Sophie on with her off-the-shoulder ivory gown, she asks me to put on her makeup, though she knows I don't really know how. It's for the ritual of it; I brush a tiny bit of pale eye shadow on her lids and put on barely-there lipstick. She blots her lips with a tissue.
Mavis says, "Jesus, Sophie, you look like a whore."
The photographer knocks to tell Sophie it's time for pictures, and the rest of us follow. Mavis and I stop in the bathroom, and from the stall she tells me she didn't realize for a long time that she was pregnant; she thought she was just getting fat and becoming incontinent. "So the pregnancy was really good news."
Since I have nothing to add about pregnancy, I tell her I read that Tiny Tim wore Depends in his final years. He wasn't incontinent, just thought they were a good idea.
Downstairs, we join Mavis's husband and the other guests. We take our seats in the room where the ceremony will be held. It has a river view, but all you can see now is fog and rain and wet grass.
I ask Mavis what her ceremony was like, and she says that instead of The Wedding March she chose K.C. and the Sunshine Band's song "That's the way — Uh-Huh, Uh-Huh — I Like It" and danced herself down the aisle.
Her husband does a deadpan, "Uh-huh, uh-huh."
The music plays. We wait. Mavis whispers that she has to go to the bathroom again. I say, "Think how much better you'd feel if you had a Depends on right now." This is what I'm saying when Max and Sophie walk down the aisle.

* * *
The reception kicks off with a a klezmer band doing their bloop-yatty-bloop, and Sophie and Max are hauled up on chairs for the Jewish wedding version of musical chairs. I was raised as an assimilationist but it's not my confused identity that prevents me from joining in; I've got the spirit, but I can't clap to the beat.
Finally, we go to our tables. I'm at One, sitting between Mavis and Sophie, and I know everyone at the table except the man taking his seat at the opposite end. He's tall and gangly with olive skin, a high forehead and big eyes, cute, but that doesn't explain what comes over me. I haven't had this feeling in so long I don't even recognize it; at first I think it's fear. My hair follicles seem to individuate themselves and freeze; then it's like my whole body flushes.
He smiles over at me and mouths, "I'm Robert."
I mouth, "Jane."
When I come out of my swoon, Mavis is telling the table that my Depends comment made her pee in her pants. She tells me I should work Tiny into my toast, and only now do I remember that I'm supposed to give one.
I try to think of it during dinner, but I'm also trying not to stare at Robert, and I'm shaky and not exactly prepared when it's my turn to go up to the microphone.
"Hi," I say to the crowd. I wait for something to come to me, and then I see Sophie, and it does. I say that we met after college in New York, and that over the years we had a succession of boyfriends but weren't so happy with any of them. We were always asking each other, "Is this all we can expect?"
Then, I say, there was our sea-horse period, when we were told that we didn't need mates; we were supposed to make ourselves happy just bobbing around in careers.
"Finally, Sophie met Max," I say, and turn serious. I look over at him. I think, He has a nice face. And I say this into the microphone. "He gets how funny and generous and wholehearted she is. He understands what a big person she is, and yet he doesn't want to crush her." I get some blank stares here, but Sophie's laughing. I say, "Max is the man Sophie didn't know if she could hope for."
When I sit down, Robert stands, I assume to give his toast. But he walks over to my side of the table and asks Mavis if she'll trade seats with him.
She says, "No," and waits a moment before relinquishing her chair.
Robert sits beside me and says, "I loved your toast."
I linger over the word "love" coming out of his mouth about something of mine.
He tells me that he knows Max from freshman year — roughly twenty years — and I remember that a huge number of Oberlin friends are here and ask what bonds them all for life.
He says, "No one else will be friends with us."
Then another toaster picks up the microphone.
Toast, toast, toast; Robert and I can only talk during the intermissions in hurried exchanges:
I learn that he's a cartoonist, and I have to tell him that I work in advertising. "But," I say, and don't know what to say next. "I'm thinking of opening a dog museum."
Toast.
"A dog museum?" he says. He's not sure if I'm kidding. "For the different breeds?"
"Maybe," I say. "Or else it could be a museum that dogs would enjoy. It could have interactive displays of squirrels dogs could chase and actually catch. And a gallery of scents."
Toast.
He tells me he's just moved back to New York from L.A. and is staying with his sister until he finds an apartment. I tell him I live in Sophie's old apartment in the huge ancient building nicknamed the Dragonia for its gargoyles. Almost everyone knows someone who has lived there — an ex-girlfriend or masseuse, a cousin — and Robert does, too, though he doesn't specify whom.
Toast.
Will I check on vacancies for him? I will.
Sophie's father goes up to the microphone for the last toast, a position of honor he's requested. He reads a rhyming poem:
"I despaired at my spinster daughter
though I thought her
awfully fair.
Then came Maxie, praise the Lord,
from the heavens, I had scored.

But Max, like Sophie, makes documentaries,
how are they going to pay their rentaries?"
Sophie's shaking her head; Max is trying to smile at his father-in-law. Robert leans over and whispers to me,
"Dad is trying awfully hard,
but this guy is no one's bard."

* * *
Max and Sophie go table to table to talk to their guests, and as soon as Robert and I have the chance to talk without interruption, a statuesque beauty in a drapey gown interrupts.
"Jane," Robert says, "this is Apollinaire."
I'm about to say, "Call me Aphrodite," but I realize in time that he's not kidding.
"Have a seat," he tells her, nodding to the one next to me. But she gracefully drops beside him, as though to fill her urn, forcing Robert to turn his back to me. It occurs to me that I may not be the only butterfly whose wings flutter in the presence of his stamen.
After she glides off, Robert tells me that she composes music for movies and has been nominated for an Oscar. I think of my only award, an Honorable Mention in the under-twelve contest to draw Mr. Bubble.
"I like her toga," I say, confusing my ancients.
We talk, we talk, and then Robert announces to the table at large that it's time for us to prepare the newlyweds' getaway car.
Outside it's drizzling. Robert retrieves two grocery bags from the bushes and leads us to Max's car.
Mavis shaving creams smiley faces on the windows.
"Tres droll," her husband says, looking on.
I don't spray a word. I hold my shaving cream poised but nothing comes out. I say that I'm blocked.
Robert, tying cans to the bumper, says, "Just pretend you're spraying in your journal."
As we walk away from the parking lot, he says, "I'm pretty sure that's his car."
— From The Girl's Guide to Hunting and Fishing, by Melissa Bank. ©May, 1999, Melissa Bank used by permission

Read More Show Less

Interviews & Essays

On Thursday, June 10th, barnesandnoble.com welcomed Melissa Bank to discuss THE GIRLS' GUIDE TO HUNTING AND FISHING.

Moderator: Welcome, Melissa Bank! Thank you for joining us online this evening to chat about your new book, THE GIRLS' GUIDE TO HUNTING AND FISHING. How are you doing tonight?

Melissa Bank: Great!


Charisma from Woodstock, VT: Hey, Melissa! I just wanted to tell you how much I connected with the book. Did you keep a journal growing up?

Melissa Bank: Not really, or not consistently. I think I was more a visual person, or more visual then verbal. I drew a lot and didn't write that much.


pac87@aol.com from xx: I hear you hit the New York Times bestseller list. Congratulations! How does it feel to be a New York Times bestseller?

Melissa Bank: Thrilling!


M. Reed from Carlisle, PA: A friend has read portions of your book aloud to me, and it is wonderful. I am interested to know whether you studied writing formally in college or grad school, and what writers, short stories, and novels you admire?

Melissa Bank: I am so glad you like my book. I took some courses at Columbia, after college, although I wish I went to college at Columbia. And they inspired me to go to Cornell for an MFA. Classic writers and books? ANNA KARENINA by Tolstoy. I also learned a lot from Hemingway's THE SUN ALSO RISES and Fitzgerald's THE GREAT GATSBY. Contemporary authors that I admire: Nick Hornby; I like Pam Houston; Elizabeth McCracken; and I love Tobias Wolfe's work, though it is a kind of writing that for some reason makes me feel like I am not a very good writer. And also I love Richard Ford's book ROCK SPRINGS -- I know he is better known for THE SPORTSWRITER and INDEPENDENCE DAY, which are also great books, but the one I love is ROCK SPRINGS.


Sarah from Santa Monica, CA: Can you please tell me the story of how you got this book published? This is your first book, isn't it?

Melissa Bank: Yes. This is a Cinderella story. I watched while all of my friends in graduate school got their books published -- book after book after book. And I did feel like the loser in the class, or the loser in the group. But at a certain point I decided not to send out stories any more and just concentrate on the writing itself. So I devoted myself just to this as a book and thought less of it as individual stories. I sent a few stories to Zoetrope, and the editor in chief, Adrienne Brodeur, commissioned a story for me, and I decided that would be the story that completed the book. For some reason, that story -- which turned out to be the title story -- got a lot of buzz, even before it was published. Agents started coming to me, and I wasn't sure it was a book yet and didn't want to be rushed. After all, I had waited a long time, and I really wanted it to be the best it could be. By a long time, I mean ten years. I decided to give it to an agent, Molly Friedrich, whom I had worked with after college. She was a friend, and I really trusted her. I wrote her a note that said, "I wish this were a finished book. I also wish I were 5 feet 11 and had the love of a good man." She called me a few days later, told me she loved the book and wanted to represent me, and that afternoon sent the book to a dozen publishers. The next day, most of them wanted to buy the book. So she held an auction, and I got really, really lucky.


Josh from Nashua, NH: Hello. Wondering how you came up with the catchy title. Great jacket as well....

Melissa Bank: The title I came up with when Zoetrope didn't like my first title, and they were trying to come up with one themselves. It sent me into a panic, and a few minutes later the title just came to me. As far as the jacket goes, others came before it, and it was hard to turn them down, even though I didn't think they were right, because Viking wanted so much to please me and I wanted to please them, but in the end, I think we are all thrilled with the cover. I think it really captures the spirit of the book.


Matthew from San Francisco: The one rule I learned from publishing in the very beginning is that short stories don't sell. What made you decide to write THE GIRLS' GUIDE using the short story format? Naïveté or pure rebellion?

Melissa Bank: Neither. I would say the overall story I was trying to tell dictated the form. I was after a kind of realism, and I think I wanted it to be like the stories we tell each other, which are more episodic. We talk about the critical moments in our lives, but I would be lying if I said I planned anything or had anything in mind. I am one of those writers whose subconscious does the work, and I try to get out of the way.


Crystal from Bryn Mawr, PA: So are you the new voice of feminism?

Melissa Bank: It is hard to think of myself as the new voice of anything. But I consider myself a feminist as it used to be understood as a humanitarian.


Sharon from Oyster Bay, NY: I am sure you get asked this question all the time, but I am curious to know: How autobiographical do you consider Jane? Did you date an older editor gentleman?

Melissa Bank: I never dated an older editor, but every emotion in the book is true. I'm really happy that people seem to believe it is autobiographical. I want it to read that way, though it is Jane's autobiography and not mine.


Jossie from Cobb County, GA: Are you going on tour for this book? Will you be coming to Atlanta?

Melissa Bank: I am on tour right now. Atlanta? Not that I know of....


Paula from Los Angeles, CA: Hi, Melissa. Congratulations on all your literary success! My question is this: Before your book was accepted for publication, did you ever deal with rejection (from literary journals or other publishers, etc.)? And if so, how did you cope with it and not feel discouraged? What kept you going? Thank you for answering my question and good luck with everything!

Melissa Bank: Thanks, Paula! I was rejected everywhere, everywhere. I kept myself going by teaching myself to enjoy writing -- the process of it -- and not hope for what it might bring. Generally when I would get a rejection, or an armful of rejections, I would head straight to the work table; writing was the only thing that made me feel better.


Sheri from Newton, PA: I really enjoyed the unique voice Jane carried throughout the book. I also enjoyed the trueness of the character. Will you ever bring her back in any of your future writing?

Melissa Bank: I may have to. I miss her.


Lois from Michigan: Do you like or appreciate the comparisons to BRIDGET JONES'S DIARY?

Melissa Bank: I think BRIDGET JONES'S DIARY is a really good book, but I don't think our books have much in common. If someone is after another BRIDGET JONES'S DIARY, they will probably get it from Helen Fielding. I would rather have readers come to my book with an open mind.


Moderator: What would you consider the ideal summer vacation?

Melissa Bank: I have to say I would probably consider it renting a house with a wraparound porch in Nantucket.


Dusty from Waterville, Maine: Good evening, Melissa Bank. What is your personal situation like these days? Do you have a boyfriend? Is that too personal a question?

Melissa Bank: Yes, it is too personal a question. No, I don't have a boyfriend.


Michael Little from Honolulu: Melissa, are you working on your next book? Can you tell us something about the structure of THE GIRLS' GUIDE, and will you use that kind of structure again?

Melissa Bank: I am working on surviving this book tour. I don't know what the next structure for the next book will be. Any ideas?


Michael from Dixfield, Maine: When do you write, and how do you come upon your material?

Melissa Bank: I generally wrote this book after work and on weekends. I generally come up with my material as I am sitting at the computer.


Paula from Los Angeles, CA: Hi. Another question -- how do you feel about being included in the 30-something single-gal genre that seems to be the trend in publishing? Are you afraid it will typecast you? Or has it helped you?

Melissa Bank: I wonder about it -- when Nick Hornby wrote HIGH FIDELITY, nobody said this is a "single guy in his 30s for readers who are single guys in their 30s." I am not sure why people are classifying me that way. I think all writers -- black, gay, straight, men, et cetera -- want to believe their books come upon universal truths. I am glad that my readers seem to include all age groups and both sexes.


Belou from Atlanta: Hello, Melissa Bank. Just wondering how difficult it was to change Jane's voice throughout the different chapters as she aged. Was it a conscious mind frame of writing, like a 14-year-old, et cetera?

Melissa Bank: Absolutely! I had to become 14 again, which is no picnic. And I wanted Jane's voice to reflect her growing up.


Laurie from Towson, MD: What was the last good book you read?

Melissa Bank: Edmund White's A BOY'S OWN STORY, and it was great.


Ann from Roseville, California: I want to be an author someday, but I feel like I don't have the talent to write a book. Were you always just a good writer or did you have to work on it?

Melissa Bank: I was not a good writer. I am amazed that I was accepted to Cornell's MFA program. I had to work my butt off.


Niki from Niki_palek@yahoo.com: Do you think they are going to make a movie out of this book?

Melissa Bank: I wrote the screenplay for the last story for Francis Ford Coppola, and it seems that story at least will become a movie.


Moderator: Thanks for spending some time with us this evening, Melissa Bank, and congratulations on the brilliant success of THE GIRLS' GUIDE TO HUNTING AND FISHING. Any final comments for your online fans?

Melissa Bank: I am teaching at Coppola's retreat in Belize, and I just found out that one of the writers dropped out. It is at the end of June, and Terry McMillan will also be there, and if anyone is interested, they should call Zoetrope -- 212-696-5720.


Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 125 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(55)

4 Star

(31)

3 Star

(14)

2 Star

(16)

1 Star

(9)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 125 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 4, 2013

    This book started out ok but just got more disconnected and unin

    This book started out ok but just got more disconnected and uninteresting as it went. it jumps from different stages in the character's life. i did not like how it was not in chronological order. overall, i would not recommend this book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 12, 2000

    Girls' Guide to Hunting and Fishing

    I loved the main character and found the humor fresh and interesting. The short story format did enhance the originality of the piece and I look forward to Ms. Bank's next novel with glee. I hear they are making a film out of the final short story. It will doubtless be interesting to see how they handle the inner dialogue..

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 1, 2014

    One of my favorites

    Have read this book so many times.... still a favorite many years later

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 19, 2013

    How i felt about the book

    After a few pages i got bored of it. Just to say dont read the book.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 2, 2013

    Longtime favs!

    One of my longtime favorites!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 12, 2012

    Don't let Bank's spare style fool you. This book is full of deep

    Don't let Bank's spare style fool you. This book is full of deep truths about being young, growing up, falling in and out of love, and all the stupid mistakes we make along the way. I have read Girls' Guide three times now and each time was like coming home to visit your funniest and wisest college friend. If you're a novel lover who don't thinks you don't like short stories, this is really a novel in stories. If you like Alice Munro's Lives of Girls and Women or Elizabeth Strout's Olive Kitteridge, you'll love this book. If you like good writing and characters you wish you could meet for drinks, you'll love this book. Her second book was nowhere near as good as this one--but then if I could write one book like this, I'd be eternally proud and never pick up a pen again.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 11, 2012

    Best book

    This is the one of the best books i have read!! One of my Good friends gave me the book and i told her " you know i dont like to read" and she told me "trust me you will like it!" And she was right this book was so good that it changed my mind about reading, anyone can read ,you just need to find a book that is good for you!! <3

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 1, 2011

    Melissa's A Genius

    This book was great. I have to admit, i did get a bit confused. Did she end up with robert, ben or archie. The story went back and fourth, so i got lost. I hope jane comes back in a new book. (:

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 4, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    The mother of chick-lit?

    I doubt that I would have ever picked up this book if it wasn't for my Women's Popular Genres class. According to my professor, this novel was one of the first that was labeled as "chick-lit," a term used to describe postfeminist fiction. Or in other words, modern fiction that is written by women for women. I guess I can understand why Bank's witty novel falls under this category (it traces the adult life of Jane, the female protagonist), but I definitely wouldn't call it superficial. On the contrary, Jane deals with issues that go way beyond gaining a few pounds and being dumped by a boyfriend. She is also delightfully humorous, easy to relate to, and worth reading about, if you ask me. But one must take into consideration that I am, in fact, a chick-lit fan. Even so, I must ask myself, was it a story worth remembering? And, unfortunately, the answer is no.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 25, 2010

    A wonderful story

    I loved this book so much, that I do not know how many times I have read it. The series of stories are very touching, regarding different stages of life: from childhood memories to grown-up relationships, looking and finding love, stuggling to make relationships work and sometimes having to let them go. What makes us adults, the road that takes us into adulthood and learning from our mistakes....without a manual. I sometimes read specific chapters instead of the whole book, and always find it moving and true to feelings, hopes and dreams.... that we must never give up even if "reality bites"....

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 24, 2010

    Pretty good-

    I didn't like this book as much as my friends did but it was pretty good and it makes you think. A girl trying to figure out life, ends up dating an older man, going through life, men, etc.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 23, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    ....

    I must admit that this was light and forgettable.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 12, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    A guide to life

    I found this book lying in the back of my shelf. My mother had given it to me a long time ago and told me to read it. I never did and completely forgot about it. I guess I was waiting for the perfect rainy day. This book is well written and it keeps you turning page after page. It feels real and there's a lot of love and discovery in the story. It's easy to identify with the protagonist, if you are a girl. The relationships are complicated and sometimes dysfunctional but always loving and caring. I recommend watching the movie adaptation after you've read the book.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 22, 2010

    Bonjour.

    So, my sister handed me this book when I was twelve, she thought thatif I ever wanted to be a writer [in which I have wanted to become since I was seven] that I should read this book. The first time I read this, it was confusing, and rigid. But after the fifth or sixth time it began to click. This book has twist and turns and through out the story, those knicks that seem out of place overlap other knicks so it's like putting a puzzle together. I'll admit the breast cancer part threw me and left question marks hanging above my head, but then I thought that maybe Banks decided to say in a sad way that sometimes people overthink that they need someone as a crutch through hard times, but all you need is yourself and near death experience to realize that you don't. I absolutely love this book. I'm on my 56th time reading this book. And I don't plan on stopping.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 5, 2009

    Boring. Mediocre. Poorly written. Should I say more?

    Seriously, don't bother. We loved it at my book club because it gave us plenty of time to have drinks and talk about EVERYTHING else but the book. It is awful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 29, 2009

    Ehh

    The book was decent, but not one of the best I have read. There are random chapters that seem out of place throughout the book. It is more a collection of short stories than a novel. I was a pretty disappointed in the book. You are left wondering how many things turned out, or why things happened the way they did. I don't like to leave bad reviews, but I would warn against buying the book. Perhaps rent it, but I wouldn't spend the money on it.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 18, 2008

    Cute. Quirky. Witty.

    A friend of mine was getting rid of some old books and not knowing anything about it, I picked up the novel and asked her if I could take it. She said sure. I read the book in less than a day and loved it. The book is very differnt in it's style and I loved that the book is written in a series of vignettes. It's cute, it's quirky, and very witty. What's not to like?

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 15, 2007

    Pointless & Confusing

    The cover of this book went on and on about how funny it was and that it was about dating. This book started out slightly interesting and went downhill from there. It was less about the main character's experiences in dating and more about one long boring relationship that didn't involve sex. The book was also jumpy from one chapter to the next so it was hard to tell who was narrating or at what point in time that chapter took place. And finally the book was sad at several points. I don't find disease and death to be 'hilarious.'

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 26, 2007

    Why??

    I'm not sure why this book was recommended to me. The plot was disappointing and the story poorly written (why is there one chapter on some neighbors--never referred to before or after?). If this is a generalization of single American women...we need to change our image and gain some morals.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 13, 2006

    Very good read

    I thought the book was great however, I'm still confused about several parts. I didn't understand why we needed the chapter where the story revolved around the neighbors' lives. I also didn't get the entire chapter where she developed breast cancer. Maybe I needed the book 'dumbed down' for me.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 125 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)