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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From Frida Kahlo and Elizabeth Taylor to Nora Ephron, Carrie Fisher, and Lena Dunham, this witty narrative explores what we can learn from the imperfect and extraordinary legacies of 29 iconic women who forged their own unique paths in the world.

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 the spirited rule breakers who charted their way with little regard for expectations: Amelia Earhart, Helen Gurley Brown, Edie Sedgwick, 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 wit and humor, examining the universal themes that connect us to each of 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.

In the Reader's Guide included in the back of the book, Karbo asks thought-provoking questions about how we relate to each woman that will make for fascinating book club conversation.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781426217746
Publisher: National Geographic
Publication date: 02/27/2018
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 1,101,917
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, Salon, 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.

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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