In Praise of Difficult Women: Life Lessons From 29 Heroines Who Dared to Break the Rules

In Praise of Difficult Women: Life Lessons From 29 Heroines Who Dared to Break the Rules


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This witty, irreverent paperback explores the legacies of 30 extraordinary women—from Frida Kahlo to Liz Taylor to Nora Ephron—who give inspiration and instruction.

Smart, sassy, and unapologetically feminine, this elegantly illustrated book is an ode to the bold and charismatic women of modern history. Best-selling author Karen Karbo (The Gospel According to Coco Chanel) spotlights a group of spirited rule breakers who charted their way with little regard for expectations: Amelia Earhart, Helen Gurley Brown, Carrie Fisher, Hillary Clinton, Amy Poehler, and Shonda Rhimes, among others. Their lives—imperfect, elegant, messy, glorious—provide inspiration and instruction for the new age of feminism we have entered. Karbo distills these lessons with empathy and humor, examining the universal themes that connect us to these mesmerizing personalities today: success and style, love and authenticity, daring and courage. Being "difficult," Karbo reveals, might not make life easier. But it can make it more fulfilling—whatever that means for you.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781426217746
Publisher: National Geographic Society
Publication date: 02/27/2018
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 273,256
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.10(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

KAREN KARBO is the author of multiple award-winning novels, memoirs and works of nonfiction. Her best-selling "Kick-Ass Women" series includes The Gospel According to Coco Chanel: Life Lessons from the World's Most Elegant Woman, which was an international bestseller. Karbo's short stories, essays, articles and reviews have appeared in Elle, Vogue, Esquire, Outside, the New York Times,, and other publications. She is a recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in Fiction, and a winner of the General Electric Younger Writer Award. Karbo lives in Portland, Oregon, where she continues to kick ass.
CHERYL STRAYED (foreword) is the author of the #1 New York Times best-selling memoir Wild, the best-selling advice essay collection Tiny Beautiful Things, the novel Torch, and the collection of quotations Brave Enough. Wild was chosen by Oprah Winfrey as her first selection for Oprah's Book Club 2.0, and made into an Oscar-nominated movie. Strayed's essays have been published in The Best American Essays, the New York Times, the Washington Post Magazine, Vogue, Salon, The Sun, Tin House, and elsewhere. Strayed is the co-host, along with Steve Almond, of the WBUR podcast Dear Sugar Radio, which originated with her popular Dear Sugar advice column on The Rumpus. She lives in Portland, Oregon.

Table of Contents

Foreword Cheryl Strayed 11

Introduction 15

J. K. Rowling 18

Elizabeth Taylor 24

Gloria Steinem 42

Amy Poehler 52

Ruth Bader Ginsburg 58

Josephine Baker 64

Rachel Maddow 80

Coco Chanel 86

Martha Gellhorn 96

Shonda Rhimes 106

Eva Perón 112

Helen Gurley Brown 132

Edie Sedgwick 150

Angela Merkel 158

Billie Jean King 168

Jane Goodall 176

Vita Sackville-West 188

Elizabeth Warren 198

Margaret Cho 206

Amelia Earhart 212

Frida Kahlo 226

Nora Ephron 242

Diana Vreeland 248

Kay Thompson 256

Laverne Cox 274

Hillary Rodham Clinton 280

Janis Joplin 288

Lena Dunham 308

Carrie Fisher 314

Acknowledgments 331

Sources 333

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