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Shrewed: A Wry and Closely Observed Look at the Lives of Women and Girls

Shrewed: A Wry and Closely Observed Look at the Lives of Women and Girls

by Elizabeth Renzetti

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Why are there so few women in politics? Why is public space, whether it’s the street or social media, still so inhospitable to women? What does Carrie Fisher have to do with Mary Wollstonecraft? And why is a wedding ceremony Satan’s playground?

These are some of the questions that bestselling author and acclaimed journalist Elizabeth Renzetti examines in her new collection of original essays. Drawing upon her decades of reporting on feminist issues, Shrewed is a book about feminism’s crossroads. From Hillary Clinton’s failed campaign to the quest for equal pay, from the lessons we can learn from old ladies to the future of feminism in a turbulent world, Renzetti takes a pointed, witty look at how far we’ve come — and how far we have to go.

If Nellie McClung and Erma Bombeck had an IVF baby, this book would be the result. If they’d lived at the same time. And in the same country. And if IVF had been invented. Well, you get the point.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781487003050
Publisher: House of Anansi Press Inc
Publication date: 03/03/2018
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 304
File size: 473 KB

About the Author

Elizabeth Renzetti is a columnist for the Globe and Mail, and for several years worked the London bureau. She has been the editor of the Books and Arts sections of the Globe and Mail and editor of Elm Street magazine. Her work has been anthologized in collections of essays, and she regularly appears as a radio and television commentator.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Tales for Young Witches 1

The Voice in Your Head Is an Asshole 15

The Way of the Harasser 21

Fearlessness 45

Weddings Are Satan's Playground: A Letter to My Daughter 57

Ambition: Three Life Lessons 65

You'll Pay for Those Breasts, or The Cost of Being a Lady 85

Never Enough: Women, Politics, and the Uphill Battle 97

If the World Were Made of Lego: A Letter to My Son 121

Unbalanced 129

The Story of My Mother 145

Four Lions 167

A View from the Outside: A Letter to My Younger Self 199

The Long Crawl to Defeat, The Slow March to Victory 209

Killer Robots, Amazon Planets, and the Fight for the Future 235

Size Matters: A Commencement Address 255

Notes 265

Acknowledgements 275

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher


Finalist, Kobo Emerging Writer Prize

Canadian Bestseller

A Winnipeg Free Press Top Read of 2014

“I’m a big Elizabeth Renzetti fan . . . This novel is a hell of a lot of fun . . . Made me laugh so hard I cried . . . Incisive, street-wise, and written with the deft hand of a truly talented scribe.” — Globe and Mail

“At the madly beating heart of Elizabeth Renzetti’s debut novel Based on a True Story is a great female buddy movie . . . The novel is packed with absolutely fabulous lines . . . A seriously funny book.” — National Post

“Witty debut . . . wild, rollicking tale of celebrity culture, reinvention in mid-life, addiction, ambition, motherhood, and confronting past regrets.” — Zoomer

“A winner . . . By turns hilarious and dark, always riveting, and crammed with satirical observations . . . [Augusta and Frances’s] antics remind you of those in the popular 1991 buddy movie Thelma and Louise, and Renzetti pulls them off with similar aplomb. In her weekly column, Renzetti uses her considerable wit and skill to make any topic engaging. She uses the same talents to make you care about Augusta and Frances — despite their flaws — and as a consequence her first novel succeeds admirably.” — Winnipeg Free Press

“A hilarious and bizarrely fascinating look at functioning drug addiction. I couldn’t put it down.” — Geist

“Powered by quick-fire dialogue and flamboyant characters, Renzetti deftly renders disparate personality types who are lovable despite (or, in some cases, because of) their myriad failings . . . Renzetti succeeds in showcasing the unreliable nature of storytelling. In one tableau, Augusta quips to a beleaguered Frances, ‘Darling, no one wants the facts of life. They want the story.’ This idea is at the core of Renzetti’s tale. Telling one’s own story is a powerful gesture, and the author has managed to relay that notion in a fun, frolicking way, through the lens of an unlikely yet tender female friendship.” — Quill & Quire

“An unforgettable character that brings out a variety of emotions from the reader. Augusta Price is both infuriating and irresistible . . . Then there are unexpected moments when she makes you laugh. Before you know it, you’re rooting for her, hoping she can get her life together.” — NewsTalk 1010, Bookends

Based on a True Story is a wry and daring debut, serving up razor-sharp wit that cuts through the tangled webs (and cobwebs) of human desire, friendship, and motherhood. Fans of Hollywood — old and new — will embrace Elizabeth Renzetti’s troubled heroine, with her dash of Norma Desmond. From page one it’s obvious that this is a novelist who is ready for her literary close-up.” — Kim Izzo, author of The Jane Austen Marriage Manual

“Elizabeth Renzetti writes like an angel . . . I laughed my way through her transatlantic tour of the absurdities of television, publishing, and journalism, and I also connected with her all-too-human characters.” — Katherine Ashenburg, author of The Dirt on Clean and The Mourner’s Dance

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