Daily News from New York, New York on September 8, 2002 · 168
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Daily News from New York, New York · 168

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New York, New York
Issue Date:
Sunday, September 8, 2002
Page:
168
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ill tl b Tales of women's bravery and audacity are all the rage by tamar schreibman Though a man's first instinct might be to turn around and run when he spots them on his girlfriend's bedside table, two new books "That . m lanes uvanes: tsoia remaies ana ineir urazen acts inree Kivers rress, $13) and "The Bitch in the House: 26 Women Tell The Truth About Sex, Solitude, Work, Motherhood, And Marriage" (William Morrow, $23.95) aren't as fierce as their titles. These compilations of essays by women are not so much about male-bashing as they are about exploring some of the creative ways women have dealt with what they've faced. " Rivka Solomon, who edited "That Takes Ovarjeent out an E-mail soliciting storiflKSf bravery from female friends, and asked them to forward her note to their friends, and so on. The result: more than 60 first-person narratives describing various acts of audacity ranging from truly admirable and inspirational to dangerous, insane and illegal. (Okay, so maybe your man should worry a little.) Among the women are a high-school junior who organized 100 girls to take on the boys who harassed them, and a Wisconsin woman who rammed her minivan into the parked station wagon of her husband's mistress (the mistress survived; the wife ended up in jail for three days). Most contributors are "everyday women," but there are a few better-known names, like Wilma Mankiller, the first female chief of the Cherokee Nation. The idea of inspiring women with tales of other women's bravery is not a new one. But Solomon says her book stands apart because she includes shocking and irresponsible behavior as well. "Most of the other books explore only the positive angle of women's gutsiness," she says. "We have lots of those stories, but this book is about real women in the real world reacting with real emotions to a variety of situations." Solomon's goal is to give women and girls a shot of courage. Unfortunately, she hits us over the head with her message in an introduction and then in a "note to the PROFILES IN COURAGE Wilma Mankiller, ex-Cherokee chief and "Ovaries" contributor readers," and 60 essays on chutzpah can get on your nerves after a while. Beyond selling books, Solomon hopes to start a nationwide movement of women sharing their tales of tenacity. She offers guidelines on her Web site, www.thattakesovaries.com, on how to organize a "That Takes Ovaries Open Mike Night." There have already been such events in New York (at the SoHo Salon in June), Washington, D.C., and Gilroy, Calif. The Bitch in the House," whose contributors include novelist and National Book Award-winner Ellen Gilchrist, Pulitzer Prize-winning science writer Natalie Angier and New Yorker contributor Daphne Merkin, is both subtler and more effective. Reading it is like being out for a long, cozy and stimulating dinner with your smartest, coolest, most insightful female friends. The essays explore traditional marriage, open marriage, living together, being single, raising children alone, pondering motherhood, and more. The title refers to the opposite of what Virginia Woolf called "the angel in the house," the sort of woman who thinks of others first and is always pleasant (read: martyr). "The Bitch in the House" has a fresh approach: Unlike numerous books about juggling work and home life, this one doesn't pretend to have the answers. Instead of an expert telling us what to do, each of the writers poses difficult questions and attempts to answer them for herself. "Women today often find themselves resentful and hostile," says the book's editor, Cathi Hanauer. "There is a false assumption that the problems of the past have all been solved. We do have so many choices and so many advantages over our mothers. In some ways, that just makes it more conflicting. You are frustrated, but you think, 'What am I complaining about? " "I really didn't want it to be a male-bashing book," says Hanauer. "It's about trying to figure out what the problems are for women and to talk honestly because I dont think any of us wants to be the bitch in the house." Down the Aisle 3 - $i o 1 iV '5 45 ' 4i " '! 'J 'i " " 3 'i ' s "i 'J v i? DATE Sept. 1,2002 THE BRIDE Mltnl Fortunate, fortysomething, director of Central Park Prep School THE GROOM Stephen Silverman, 48, director . of operations at a shoe-importing company CEREMONY 10:30 a.m., Brooklyn Ethical Culture Society RECEPTION 11 a.m., couple's house, Brooklyn NUMBER OF GUESTS 75 COLOR SCHEME Eclectic ON THE,. MENU Champagne brunch CAKE Chocolate mousse with Ivory butt ere ream frosting and flowers from the couple's garden HOW THEY MET Their sons played on the same basketball team THEIR, FAMILY PREDICTS "They will laugh through life together" Zona SarataihPerrl, mother of the bride HONEYMOON A day at Rlis Park

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