A trade paperback reissue of National Book Award finalist Mary Gaitskill’s debut collection, Bad Behavior—powerful stories about dislocation, longing, and. This collection of nine stories by Avery Hopwood Award-winner Gaitskill marks the debut of a promising and provocative new voice. These are tales of sexual. Mary Gaitskill (born November 11, ) is an American novelist, essayist, and short story Gaitskill attempted to find a publisher for four years before her first book, the short story collection Bad Behavior, was published in The first four.

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How do fingers and hands have an exposed, strangely cold and receptive quality? He liked the idea in fact. So the masochism is like “I’m going to make myself into a debased object because that is what I think of you.

Bad Behavior – Mary Gaitskill – Google Books

Neither love stories or hate stories, they begin with the potential to be either. This was 30 years ago. I am sure that was what Gaitskill was trying to capture–the lack of foundation or the semblance of security that we feel that we have in our lives, yet life finds a way to constantly put you in your place, letting you know that as wonderful as your dreams or plans may be, there will always be a catch and life is messy and chaotic, and don’t you wish things were simpler like when you were a child, but wait, that pretty much sucked as well.

I don’t know why it’s taken me 34 years to discover some very essential things about myself, the most obvious to others, but it has.

I cannot agree with the charge that Gaitskill is a bad writer, however as suggested by a certain reader from Nottingham: The family thought it was funny at the time, but it makes perfect sense to me.

I wonder if that perception comes from her willingness to write about taboo experiences, sado-masochism and abusive relationships, in a very nuanced way? Gaitskill’s essay in Harper’s also addresses feminist debates about date rapevictimization, and responsibility. The book turns out to contain “Secretary,” the story on which the Maggie Gyllenhaal movie is quite loosely based.


Mary Gaitskill born November 11, is an American novelist, essayist, and short story writer. You get the idea. What I appreciate most now is something much more essential to the work, and to life: Even more unsettling, I am deeply familiar with every crimped ambition, tainted motive and blurred rationalization of the part-time prostitutes, full-time lechers and would-be creative giants that leaks through in these queasy, heartrending depictions of the individual and global entropy that seems to be the bedrock of civilized society.

She characterized the film as “the Pretty Woman version, heavy on the charm and a little too nice ,” but observed that the “bottom line is that if [a film adaptation is] made you get some money and exposure, and people can make up their minds from there.

Bad Behavior | Book by Mary Gaitskill | Official Publisher Page | Simon & Schuster

I feel like she would then act all offended at the prudishness of the person sitting with her and the people sitting around her that were now giving her weird looks. Several times I found myself jarred from my reading reverie by a particular turn of phrase, or word choice.

They are sometimes prostitutes. Several take place in Manhattan, but not all.

There’s a sentence or a I don’t know why it’s taken me 34 years to discover some very essential things about myself, the most obvious to others, but it has. But, not like you think. Now, I read the stories differently, but I behavvior them no less.

She wasn’t a directionless girl adrift in a monstrous city, wandering from one confounding social situation to the next, having stupid affairs. I behafior figure out why I’m not enjoying this book more. Aug 12, Maia rated it really liked it Recommended to Maia by: Leisha’s rejection of her friendship and selfishness ultimately drive Susan away, but Leisha’s haphazard stumblings through life threaten to consume Susan’s thoughts forever.


It’s not that people like this don’t exist – the combination of narcissism and ennui that Gaitskill p I find myself landing squarely on the fence for this collection – beahvior were three stories I really admired “Daisy’s Valentine”, “Secretary”, and “Heaven”a couple I actively disliked “Something Nice”, “An Affair, Edited”the others left me largely unmoved.

The kids and middle-aged adolescents acting out in Bad Behavior are in the moment but not of the moment, or maybe the other way around. This did not make her feel contempt or draw away from him.

Bad Behavior

The guttural hiss of the steamer and the shouts of the baristas are too loud to hear ourselves speak so we take our flat whites and sit out on a low pavement bench that is shaded from the hot morning sun. Jun 19, Clare Marie rated it liked it Shelves: I could tell it on every page.

But you wouldn’t choose to spend time with them in real life, and reading about them wasn’t all that much fun either. She finds Fred gentler and nicer than most of her clients and when he returns over the next two nights, she admits her real name is Jane. Then in ‘Secretary’ Debby describes the lawyer with “it felt like he could have put his hand through my rib cage, grabbed my heart, squeezed it a little to see how it felt, then let go.

She tried to imagine what Leisha looked like inside and pictured a set of dull-colored wires, some dead, others short-circuited and flickering in the dark, discharging a profusion of heat and bright color that sparked wildly, blew fuses and went dead” I assumed, reading The Marethat in some ways Gaitskill was drawing on her own adolescence in creating the interior life of Velvet.

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