Bad Behavior by Mary Gaitskill – A trade paperback reissue of National Book Award finalist Mary Gaitskill’s debut collection, Bad Behavior—powerful stories. 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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I started reading this book having only beavior one of her stories before “Secretary,” obviouslybut knowing that she dealt with the territory I’ve begun writing about lately.

In case you don’t want to go read that review, I’ll repeat myself a little bit. I don’t think he’s actually done any of the things he says he wants to do, and all his talk is just that — talk. It is, I am sorry to say, the truer ending. She just doesn’t do much for me. I know I probably sound like a lunatic, and maybe I am. Loud enough that anyone sitting within a couple of tables of her would have no choice but to notice that she just made an ‘offhand’ comment about how sometimes she likes to get smacked while getting fucked in the ass.

There’s a sentence or a paragraph in each essay that just nails it for me.

The primary characters are named Ginger and Velvet short for Velveteen. I especially appreciate her depiction of how the dissolution of close friendships can haunt us as much or more than past romantic relationships. The first four stories are written in the third person point of view from the perspectives of gaitskoll characters.

Bad Behavior

Open Preview See a Problem? I was intrigued by both of these stories. 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” Deeply sensitive and emotionally burdened people, their surfaces and interiors never synch up, not with themselves and not with anybody else in the room.


Gaitskill is a fine writer. Lily’s presence in Virginia’s life began as a series of late-night phone calls and wild letters from Anne. I know many powerful women on this site can help me out. Henry Prize Stories They are sometimes prostitutes. Until Veronicahowever, she had never ventured to show fully how life could also be made a place where, despite all, we find meaningful release.

If you wanted to be a writer, you read Gaitskill’s pitch-black, edgy, creepy tales about men and women behaving badly, and you wondered if this was the real world, or just an especially dark version of it. For the uninitiated, the hate-read, which is analogous to its more ubiquitous and slutty cousin, the hate-fuck, is an activity wherein one disseminates written content with the distinct objective of deriding it.

And just as these characters posthumously attempt to make sense of the friendship death, so may we. They don’t consider other options, other characters, themselves. Its characters are just what I love in an indulgent read: The book is centered on the narrator, a former fashion model and her friend Veronica who contracts AIDS.

Mary Gaitskill

Largely I think that she, and her mother, are there as a foil, so you can understand what kind of a woman Virginia is and how she vehavior herself. These are the last two paragraphs:. She finds Fred gentler and nicer than most of her clients and gaitskjll he returns over the next two nights, she admits her real name is Jane.

I thought o While walking back from the laundrymat because this is a benavior New Yorkers do, we walk our laundry home after doing it it behsvior laundry, not “it”, I’m not the sort of person who does base things like that. It seems like self-contempt, but it’s really an inverted contempt for everything. Another spoiled, pretty daughter who fancied herself a gypsy princess, barefooted, spangled with bright beads, breasts arrogantly unbound, cavalier in love.


A bit of language at the end of Secretary clicked for me as an explanation of Gaitskill’s voice: 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.

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

She’s not one to apologize for herself—with all the good and bad implied by that trait. As a reader, you feel a moral question-mark here, but Virginia and her husband Jarold are unbothered.

When the author presents characters at arm’s length, it’s hard for me to immerse myself in the world and care what happens to them.

Even in the stories that I didn’t particularly like, Gaitskill’s writing seemed quite impressive. I don’t know why I’m saying that, maybe just to feel like I could be part of the social-world twenty some odd years too late, maybe, that these stories take place I started thinking about writing a review for this book. I’m not big on short stories and I found this demonstrated why: I nearly put the book down because its treatment of everything seemed so distant and no one seemed to like anyone else much at all.

These stories have an edge and they will eat you for breakfast!!! Secretary is the only story in the book written in the first person point of view. There, he employs the gehavior of “Lisette,” a prostitute he spends most of his hour talking to.

Despite her attempts to neatly separate her work I thought this book was profound, intriguing, and original in the choice of subject matter.