I was spared all of this as a teenager by being a bookish nerd. I do worry about what would happen to any children of mine in the calamitous event that they happen to be more capable of fitting in socially, or more conventionally attractive than I was.
Whoa there, completely disagree about Emma Bovary. The whole book is about her interior life, and I think she is startlingly human. Madame Bovary could be a modern book, if it weren't for the fact that she has so little choice in her life because of the smallness of her rural world and the societal restrictions on women. At various times in her life, Emma Bovary is a virgin, a mother, a whore and a bitch, sure, but I don't see how that doesn't, in fact, make her more fully realised rather than less.
My submission for the most galling example of a female character written by a man: Madeleine of The Wedding Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides. She is basically a placeholder.
@YoungLeafedJune It's almost like she thought out a well-argued essay in her head, with points which lead directly to other points and an overall direction of argumentation, and then she wrote down only the bits she thought were the most interesting, leaving out all of the connective tissue.
I liked it on the second reading, but she's making the reader work hard for the wrong reasons.
@LiterarySara Is the rest of the album this good, even if different stylistically?
On Manly Me
This was great. Also, I was thinking, a cashmere bra? Really? This is a thing people want? And then no less than 2 people in the comments plus the amazing tag. Clearly I lack imagination.
@pinniped YES! 1986 forever. I was always Miss Scarlet, and now I have my own antique cigarette holder.
We didn't have quotes, but I got to write a little composition to go under the class photo. It had an embarrassing tendency to address the reader directly, and a number of allusions to "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock." I was really hung up about where to part my hair and whether to eat a peach back then. Plus ça change . . . .
@angelinha Or something about seamen. I can't believe I just wrote that.
@meetapossum You beat me to it!
A mouse ran over my chest in my sleep once. That was the year that the mice had won complete control of the flat, and could be seen at all hours of the day, nonchalantly strolling around as if they owned the place.