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Ladyparts

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A frank, witty, and dazzlingly written memoir of one woman trying to keep it together while her body falls apart—from the New York Times bestselling author of Shutterbabe I’m crawling around on the bathroom floor, picking up pieces of myself. These pieces are not a metaphor. They are actual pieces. Twenty years after the publication of her iconic Shutterbabe, we remeet Deb A frank, witty, and dazzlingly written memoir of one woman trying to keep it together while her body falls apart—from the New York Times bestselling author of Shutterbabe I’m crawling around on the bathroom floor, picking up pieces of myself. These pieces are not a metaphor. They are actual pieces. Twenty years after the publication of her iconic Shutterbabe, we remeet Deborah Copaken at her darkly comedic nadir: battered, broke, divorcing, dissected, and dying—literally—on sexism’s battlefield as she deliriously scoops up what she believes to be her internal organs, which have fallen out of her body, into a glass Tupperware container before heading off to the hospital for emergency surgery . . . in an UberPool. Part cri de coeur cautionary tale, part dystopian tragicomedy, Ladyparts is Copaken’s irreverent inventory of both the female body and the body politic of womanhood in America. With her journalist’s eye, her novelist’s heart, and her performer’s sense of timing, she provides a frontline account of one woman brought to her knees by the one-two-twelve punch of divorce, solo motherhood, lack of healthcare, unaffordable childcare, shady landlords, her father’s death, college tuitions, sexual harassment, corporate indifference, ageism, sexism, and just plain old bad luck. Plus seven serious illnesses, one on top of the other, which provide the book’s narrative skeleton: vagina, uterus, breast, heart, cervix, brain, and lungs. She keeps bouncing back from each bum body part and finding the black humor in every setback, but in her slippery struggle to survive a steep plunge off the middle-class ladder, she is suddenly awoken to what it means to have no safety net. Turning her Harlem home into a commune to pay rent and have childcare, she trades her life as a bestselling novelist to apply for full-time corporate gigs that come with health insurance but often not scruples. She gets fired from a health magazine for being unhealthy; laid off from a PR firm for rushing home to deal with a child’s medical emergency; and sexually harassed out of her newspaper column, only to be grilled by the FBI when her harasser is offered a plum job in the White House. Side-splittingly funny one minute, a freak horror show the next, and quintessentially American, Ladyparts is an era-defining memoir for our time.


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A frank, witty, and dazzlingly written memoir of one woman trying to keep it together while her body falls apart—from the New York Times bestselling author of Shutterbabe I’m crawling around on the bathroom floor, picking up pieces of myself. These pieces are not a metaphor. They are actual pieces. Twenty years after the publication of her iconic Shutterbabe, we remeet Deb A frank, witty, and dazzlingly written memoir of one woman trying to keep it together while her body falls apart—from the New York Times bestselling author of Shutterbabe I’m crawling around on the bathroom floor, picking up pieces of myself. These pieces are not a metaphor. They are actual pieces. Twenty years after the publication of her iconic Shutterbabe, we remeet Deborah Copaken at her darkly comedic nadir: battered, broke, divorcing, dissected, and dying—literally—on sexism’s battlefield as she deliriously scoops up what she believes to be her internal organs, which have fallen out of her body, into a glass Tupperware container before heading off to the hospital for emergency surgery . . . in an UberPool. Part cri de coeur cautionary tale, part dystopian tragicomedy, Ladyparts is Copaken’s irreverent inventory of both the female body and the body politic of womanhood in America. With her journalist’s eye, her novelist’s heart, and her performer’s sense of timing, she provides a frontline account of one woman brought to her knees by the one-two-twelve punch of divorce, solo motherhood, lack of healthcare, unaffordable childcare, shady landlords, her father’s death, college tuitions, sexual harassment, corporate indifference, ageism, sexism, and just plain old bad luck. Plus seven serious illnesses, one on top of the other, which provide the book’s narrative skeleton: vagina, uterus, breast, heart, cervix, brain, and lungs. She keeps bouncing back from each bum body part and finding the black humor in every setback, but in her slippery struggle to survive a steep plunge off the middle-class ladder, she is suddenly awoken to what it means to have no safety net. Turning her Harlem home into a commune to pay rent and have childcare, she trades her life as a bestselling novelist to apply for full-time corporate gigs that come with health insurance but often not scruples. She gets fired from a health magazine for being unhealthy; laid off from a PR firm for rushing home to deal with a child’s medical emergency; and sexually harassed out of her newspaper column, only to be grilled by the FBI when her harasser is offered a plum job in the White House. Side-splittingly funny one minute, a freak horror show the next, and quintessentially American, Ladyparts is an era-defining memoir for our time.

30 review for Ladyparts

  1. 5 out of 5

    Elyse Walters

    Audiobook…read by Deborah Copaken, the author… brilliantly I might add. ….16 hours and 38 minutes Whenever Deborah Copaken sees a sunrise or a rainbow she thinks of her dad. “It’s as if his body disappeared that day and in his place appeared either a sunrise 🌅 or rainbow🌈. A packed filled book with everything including the kitchen sink. …..Slut shaming ….surgeries, horrible details of uterus surgery and recovery, hospitals, doctors, money, career, gripping marriage tales, parents, families, pr Audiobook…read by Deborah Copaken, the author… brilliantly I might add. ….16 hours and 38 minutes Whenever Deborah Copaken sees a sunrise or a rainbow she thinks of her dad. “It’s as if his body disappeared that day and in his place appeared either a sunrise 🌅 or rainbow🌈. A packed filled book with everything including the kitchen sink. …..Slut shaming ….surgeries, horrible details of uterus surgery and recovery, hospitals, doctors, money, career, gripping marriage tales, parents, families, pregnancies, single-parenting, divorce, children, womanhood, friendship, loneliness, anger, frustrations, cancer, dating, men, fucking inappropriate men, environmental issues, being an American, America, traveling, scary-as-hell traveling, writing, her novels, photo journalism, screenwriting, blogging, the sociology of suicide, dog walking, Tinder rules, before meToo & the realities of meToo, being fired, chats about love, consolation jobs, babysitting, housing, living environments, rent, gas, food, financial expenses, eating, starving, sick as hell, maddening injustice, sadness, and shocking news…. freedom debt relief destroyed her credit, being a sucker for a crazy pitch, sound healing therapy, try-anything to alleviate pain measures, Jewish, Tibetan buddhist healing, Nepal, the Hollywood fantasy, tons of personal stories, …. the good, the bad, the evil….. I liked it all > in that way where one feels “I want to be friends with this woman”…. …witty, honest, funny, heartbreaking, emotional…. filled with heart!! In one section, I literally wanted to ‘scream’ (for and with Deborah), with my own anger and cry at the same time!!! If you loved Nora Ephron…(possible not to?)…. you just might want to cry your eyes out with the love felt!!! Definitely not a waste of time for me!!!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie

    I won and ARC copy of this book through Goodreads giveaways! I am stunned by this book. Somehow, she covers the female experience by telling her own narrative. Sexual harassment, rape, slut-shaming, healthcare designed for men only, childcare, the wage gap, the jop opportunity differences, treatment in the workplace, divorce, dating, and the organs that terrorize our bodies are all put on display. Every human needs to read this book. If you find the events and situations in this book shocking, y I won and ARC copy of this book through Goodreads giveaways! I am stunned by this book. Somehow, she covers the female experience by telling her own narrative. Sexual harassment, rape, slut-shaming, healthcare designed for men only, childcare, the wage gap, the jop opportunity differences, treatment in the workplace, divorce, dating, and the organs that terrorize our bodies are all put on display. Every human needs to read this book. If you find the events and situations in this book shocking, you need to educate yourself on the multifaceted disparities between men and women. So often I hear the counter argument, "yes women have it bad with this, but men experience this too". To the same percentage? Is the same response given? Who is acknowledged more? I feel sad that the majority of the female readers of this book will, like me, not be surprised at the events within. We will all find parts of her narrative that sound like she's narrating our lives instead. But maybe, like me, this gives you hope that someday there might be a world where this doesn't have to happen. Hopefully, this book gives you even a tiny little boost to try and make your own way in the world, like it has done for me.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Ayelet

    Nora Ephron was her mentor and she's friends with an Ayelet. She had me with that! Nora Ephron was her mentor and she's friends with an Ayelet. She had me with that!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Linda Perlstein

    This book was ... a lot! Here are the things it was about: -Life with catastrophic ailments -Friendship with Nora Ephron -#MeToo -The hard road to WGA credits -Marriage on the spectrum -Working with Darren Star -App dating -Eastern wellness -Ken Kurson and the FBI -The inadequacies of freelance health insurance Any, say, five of these topics would have been enough. I liked the components individually and appreciated (I think?) that Copaken names names, but it's a bit all over the place and long. This book was ... a lot! Here are the things it was about: -Life with catastrophic ailments -Friendship with Nora Ephron -#MeToo -The hard road to WGA credits -Marriage on the spectrum -Working with Darren Star -App dating -Eastern wellness -Ken Kurson and the FBI -The inadequacies of freelance health insurance Any, say, five of these topics would have been enough. I liked the components individually and appreciated (I think?) that Copaken names names, but it's a bit all over the place and long.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Bonnie Goldberg

    Necessary and Critcal This is an urgent necessary and critical book for every woman (and man) in my friend and family group. As a long time Copaken fan, I expected nothing less. But Copaken hits it out of the park with this book, mining her own dark secrets struggles and shame to force us to reckon with the multi layered complexity of why women have it so hard and receive such poor medical care while at the same time pushing us to be smarter and safer. And am I more grateful than ever to be a Can Necessary and Critcal This is an urgent necessary and critical book for every woman (and man) in my friend and family group. As a long time Copaken fan, I expected nothing less. But Copaken hits it out of the park with this book, mining her own dark secrets struggles and shame to force us to reckon with the multi layered complexity of why women have it so hard and receive such poor medical care while at the same time pushing us to be smarter and safer. And am I more grateful than ever to be a Canadian with a health care safety net.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Karen Germain

    Thank you to Random House Publishing Group for providing me with a copy of Deborah Copaken’s memoir, Ladyparts, in exchange for an honest review. Writer and photojournalist Deborah Copaken’s Ladyparts, begins over a decade after her first memoir, Shutterbabe, which detailed her early career as a war photographer in Afghanistan. In Ladyparts, Copaken chronicles her separation from her husband, Paul Kogan, and the subsequent stress, health, and financial issues that followed. I can’t remember the la Thank you to Random House Publishing Group for providing me with a copy of Deborah Copaken’s memoir, Ladyparts, in exchange for an honest review. Writer and photojournalist Deborah Copaken’s Ladyparts, begins over a decade after her first memoir, Shutterbabe, which detailed her early career as a war photographer in Afghanistan. In Ladyparts, Copaken chronicles her separation from her husband, Paul Kogan, and the subsequent stress, health, and financial issues that followed. I can’t remember the last time that I read a memoir that made me feel every single emotion. All of the feels. Mostly, I felt anxiety and rage towards Copaken’s struggles. To be clear, Copaken is not seeking pity, but Ladyparts serves to shed a light on the inequalities in our society, especially those that women face. When she sought divorce from her husband, she was left with the bills and childcare, while he restarted his life in California. This situation, along with job loss and health problems, such as a cancer diagnosis, caused extreme instability in Copaken’s life. She saw her savings dwindle to the point where she had to put off having critical surgeries or even reconsider taking not just an ambulance, but a cab, to the hospital during a health emergency. Copaken offers many statistics that show not only a severely flawed US health system, but specifically where the health system fails women. It made my blood boil. She gives startling examples of how women’s health is simply not given research funds, and how many gynecologist are not trained to help post menopausal women. It’s terrifying and makes me livid. I have a family history of gynecological cancers in my family, and now I am the same age as both my mom and aunt when they had endometrial cancer. I’m constantly waiting for the other shoe to drop. I felt very triggered and anxious when reading these sections of Ladyparts, especially as I’ve also been in Copaken’s position of not having health insurance. It’s terrifying and I don’t take it for granted now that I have it. Copaken is so brave and honest. She gives a raw account of her medical situation, including a very graphic retelling of massive blood clots that expelled from her body after a complication from surgery. A complication that she was never briefed could happen, therefore making it even more serious and scary. At one point, she is explaining this at a dinner party and a friend cautions her to keep the details private, as it is not proper. Copaken refuses to be silent or tone down her story. I want to commend and thank her for sharing the details. It is important for women to be heard, especially in situations like these, where her story could help save lives. My anxiety peaked when Copaken detailed her various problems at different companies. It was a reminder that freelancing (which I’m currently doing) is uncertain, and that the changes in technology and work culture have devalued the contributions of writers. Also, the idea that being middle-aged can be viewed as a liability or another reason to be devalued, made me feel ill. I worked for the same company for nearly fifteen years and it took me a long time to realize that there is little loyalty and no such thing as job security. I was raised by a mom who essentially worked for the same company her entire career and preached the gospel of finding a place and staying loyal, but that is simply not the way the world works now and Copaken’s experiences highlight this new way of doing things. The #Metoo movement looms large in the last chapters of Ladyparts, as Copaken’s private life goes viral when she outs Ken Kurson, a major editor and friend of Donald Trump, for harassment, stalking, and derailing her career. The details are shocking, but ultimately this story breaking is a huge win. Speaking of wins, one of the most poignant and beautiful moments comes towards the end, when Copaken encourages her son to “break the rules” and join her on their apartment rooftop to view Fourth of July fireworks bursting over the New York skyline. It’s an intimate moment between a mother and her son. Copaken reflects on time and makes an affecting comment on how our bodies are borrowed, and how we don’t know how much time we have in them, so we should live to the fullest. This resonated with me. Ladyparts might be one of the most important, perspective changing writing that I have ever encountered. It certainly wasn’t an easy read, as I had to brace myself for the emotions every time I picked it up, but I absolutely recommend it to everyone. Copaken writes without mercy and is a force. Also, Copaken’s friendship and advice from Nora Ephron is fantastic. Like my review? Check out my blog!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Gretchen Rubin

    An astonishingly candid and thought-provoking memoir.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Allison

    I only made it 116 pages before having to set this one down. I actually feel quite badly about not enjoying it; the author has clearly had a tough go of things and does tell compelling stories, but there came a point where I just couldn’t take the nonstop drumbeat of how Hard everything is. Without resorting to victim blaming, I can only hope that more women these days leave relationships that aren’t working (to say the least), advocate for themselves with their doctors, and learn the pillars of I only made it 116 pages before having to set this one down. I actually feel quite badly about not enjoying it; the author has clearly had a tough go of things and does tell compelling stories, but there came a point where I just couldn’t take the nonstop drumbeat of how Hard everything is. Without resorting to victim blaming, I can only hope that more women these days leave relationships that aren’t working (to say the least), advocate for themselves with their doctors, and learn the pillars of personal finance early in their careers. Those seem to be the big lessons to glean from her story. The book is also just… long. The structure intentionally jumps around the timeline, but the narrative within each section also jumps around to other years and stories, so it can also feel disjointed at moments. I wish an editor had been a little more assertive about working with her to pare things down, as I just don’t think things like the multi-page excursion to wax about the state of public and private schools on the upper west side of Manhattan versus in Harlem added any real value to the overall reader experience. Valuable topic, but not in the context of this type of memoir. Don’t get me wrong — with a life like this I can understand wanting to share it all. But it’s a lot. Contemplating another 300 pages of this ultimately is just too daunting a task for me.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Monica

    I have always loved Deb’s writing- for her honesty, humanity, and humor, but this book spoke to me on so many levels as a woman in her early 50s, a parent, a wife, a professional. It is the narrative version of a manifesto- a call for women to stand up for one another and fight the patriarchy- for the sake of the health of our bodies, and our minds!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Zibby Owens

    In this memoir, the author shares how her personal and medical history was more challenging because she did not have insurance, despite being a bestselling author with an illustrious career in New York Times bestselling author. Using her own body as a metaphor for how women are treated in the American healthcare system, the author talks about her medical struggles, the industry's insurmountable hurdles, and the physical toll they take on women today. The author used her scars and traumas—from get In this memoir, the author shares how her personal and medical history was more challenging because she did not have insurance, despite being a bestselling author with an illustrious career in New York Times bestselling author. Using her own body as a metaphor for how women are treated in the American healthcare system, the author talks about her medical struggles, the industry's insurmountable hurdles, and the physical toll they take on women today. The author used her scars and traumas—from getting Covid, losing her job, losing her father, getting a hysterectomy, a trachelectomy, and a vaginal cuff dehiscence—to tell a much bigger story of what it's like in America for the shrinking middle class and how our healthcare system compares to healthcare systems in other countries. She also intersperses statistics and facts to explain the gaps. To listen to my interview with the author, go to my podcast at: https://zibbyowens.com/transcript/deb...

  11. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie

    I've never been into memoirs or autobiographical books before, but Deborah Copaken pulled me into this one from the very first page. This story is so relatable on so many levels, I found myself both laughing and crying along with her as I journeyed through her last decade or so of life. Fantastic book! Thank you, Deborah, for your brutal honesty and for letting this reader know she wasn't alone struggling through divorce and a healthcare system that makes absolutely no sense in a first world cou I've never been into memoirs or autobiographical books before, but Deborah Copaken pulled me into this one from the very first page. This story is so relatable on so many levels, I found myself both laughing and crying along with her as I journeyed through her last decade or so of life. Fantastic book! Thank you, Deborah, for your brutal honesty and for letting this reader know she wasn't alone struggling through divorce and a healthcare system that makes absolutely no sense in a first world country.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Andrea Drewganis

    If Homer's "The Odyssey", Land's "Maid" and Lyon's "Disrupted" had a baby, this would be it. Exploring the big themes of our modern era (healthcare, affordable housing, discrimination, the gig economy, the caretaker's economy), Deborah Copaken turns her journalistic eye for detail inward as she leads us through a hero's journey of the battles a middle-aged woman wages with her mind, heart and body. Her first person account of longing, loss and love is equal parts outrageous and relatable. It's h If Homer's "The Odyssey", Land's "Maid" and Lyon's "Disrupted" had a baby, this would be it. Exploring the big themes of our modern era (healthcare, affordable housing, discrimination, the gig economy, the caretaker's economy), Deborah Copaken turns her journalistic eye for detail inward as she leads us through a hero's journey of the battles a middle-aged woman wages with her mind, heart and body. Her first person account of longing, loss and love is equal parts outrageous and relatable. It's hard to look away and impossible to put down because we need to know that this gritty, capable, loving woman is going to be ok in the end. Will she? Will we?

  13. 4 out of 5

    Carolyn

    Being a woman in this world really sucks. Also I don’t think I’ll ever watch anything by Darren Star ever again after he screwed over one of his oldest friends, just one of many egregious acts by many grotesque males revealed in this book. I loved Shutterbabe, Copaken’s earlier book a LOT, but this may have just surpassed it. This book is so of this time and this place and being a 50-something woman in this backwards world (she’s just two years older than me). Right place, right time.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Kathy

    Loved the Audible version of the book, read by the author. A simultaneously funny and painful memoir, highlighting the many ways in which our society fails women. If you were born with a uterus, read this book. If you weren’t, read it twice.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Sophfronia Scott

    A bold and brave reflection on a life lived out loud. Join me for a Mark Twain House and Museum online event in conversation with author Deborah Copaken discussing her powerful memoir, Ladyparts. September 29, 2021, 7pm ET. Registration here. A bold and brave reflection on a life lived out loud. Join me for a Mark Twain House and Museum online event in conversation with author Deborah Copaken discussing her powerful memoir, Ladyparts. September 29, 2021, 7pm ET. Registration here.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Mags

    As a sufferer of chronic pelvic pain, I was sucked right in from the title and the subject matter. I loved this autobiographical account of a woman as her body slowly falls apart. Thoroughly engaging take on her experience peppered with appalling facts of the lack of equity in health care. Loved it.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Kelly

    A beautifully written memoir that delves into many important topics and issues. I loved the author's voice and the photographs she included. Though I would've appreciated a warning for the blood clot one. A beautifully written memoir that delves into many important topics and issues. I loved the author's voice and the photographs she included. Though I would've appreciated a warning for the blood clot one.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Heather Munao

    My full review will be in Booklist soon. This has been my favorite Booklist assignment so far! It is meaningful and important while being very personal.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Lua

    This is one of the best books I've read in a while - highly recommended! I very much admired the author's honesty when sharing very personal stories, and also her ability to bring in the facts and statistics to show how her experiences are often shared by many others, and why. Many of the issues she talks about involve women's healthcare, and the fact that many times medical studies have been done on men, but not on women. This lack of research can cause major problems when women don't get the i This is one of the best books I've read in a while - highly recommended! I very much admired the author's honesty when sharing very personal stories, and also her ability to bring in the facts and statistics to show how her experiences are often shared by many others, and why. Many of the issues she talks about involve women's healthcare, and the fact that many times medical studies have been done on men, but not on women. This lack of research can cause major problems when women don't get the info and care they need. Due to a lack of research/studies, a doctor gives her advice regarding a surgery - later proven by studies to be bad advice - which almost causes her to die. She also lives through what it's like when your health care is tied to your job, you lose your job, and can't afford the care you need. There's so much more covered in this memoir - divorce, financial instability, income inequality, sexual harassment (some of it by a buddy of Jared Kushner), unaffordable childcare... I would need to write an essay to begin to describe all of the interesting issues she covers. Better you should just read it!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Penny

    Had I known this book was written by a rape enabler, I would never have purchased it. Women like Ms. Copaken make the world a more dangerous place for women and girls. There is a big write up of her in which she says of her rapist "I have absolutely forgiven him. And it's the most beautiful thing." For whom? Ms. Copaken revels in Himpathy (see Kate Manne's brilliant book "Down Girl" for that definition). Although claiming to support Christine Blasey Ford, Ms. Copaken says she is not naming her rapist Had I known this book was written by a rape enabler, I would never have purchased it. Women like Ms. Copaken make the world a more dangerous place for women and girls. There is a big write up of her in which she says of her rapist "I have absolutely forgiven him. And it's the most beautiful thing." For whom? Ms. Copaken revels in Himpathy (see Kate Manne's brilliant book "Down Girl" for that definition). Although claiming to support Christine Blasey Ford, Ms. Copaken says she is not naming her rapist because "I don't believe in public shaming. I don't want revenge." How does Ms. Copaken think Dr. Ford feels when she reads those words? How do any of the brave women who publicly named their own rapists to protect other women feel? Ms. Copaken may not want to "shame" her rapist, but she has no problem shaming victims of rape who name their abusers. Women like Ms. Copaken encourage us to protect rapists at the expense of women and children. That's really what the Restorative Justice movement is all about: protecting men from the trauma of accountability, while women and children bear the trauma of male sexual violence. Ms. Copaken never gives a moment's thought to the fact that she is almost surely not the only victim of this predator - or that a common ploy of sociopaths is the "pity play" which is exactly what her rapist used to get her to keep her mouth shut. I'm not surprised that Ms. Copaken endured an abusive marriage for over 20 years (setting a horrible example for her daughters) nor am I surprised that she almost died avoiding a trip to the hospital while giant blood clots poured from her vagina. Ms. Copaken does not protect herself, and she romanticizes this as a good way for women to be. Rape is never inevitable. Rape is a CHOICE that men (primarily) make. As long as women like Ms. Copaken glorify the protection of men at the expense of women and children, rape will never end. Name the Rapist. Protect Women & Children Do Not Fall for the Pity Play.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Sandra The Old Woman in a Van

    Lady Parts is a contemporary, raucous, tragic, yet powerful accounting of modern feminism as told through the personal memoir of the writer’s overwhelmingly horrible, never ending medical crises. Whew. It works. Most women will laugh some, cry some, and certainly relate to the author’s plight. My one “eh” about the book is the New Yorkiness of it. Yes, that’s not a word, but in general very New Yorky narratives annoy me. Not an issue with the book or the stories, but still. I get it that people Lady Parts is a contemporary, raucous, tragic, yet powerful accounting of modern feminism as told through the personal memoir of the writer’s overwhelmingly horrible, never ending medical crises. Whew. It works. Most women will laugh some, cry some, and certainly relate to the author’s plight. My one “eh” about the book is the New Yorkiness of it. Yes, that’s not a word, but in general very New Yorky narratives annoy me. Not an issue with the book or the stories, but still. I get it that people in the writing industry like to (need to?) live in NYC. But so much of Copekan’s problems would have been less acute if she’d just moved. But I still get it. I had to move almost twenty years ago when my company folded - with six children, no partner and a desperate need for health insurance. So while the author’s life story has way more drama than most, and some readers will be tempted to tell her she could have fixed x,y, or z by doing blah-blah-blah, it’s better to just sit with her story. Understand that many (most) women will relate to something in it. And let’s figure out how to make it better for our daughters.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Julia Beck

    EVERYONE STOP -- This must be your next listen. Listen because you need to hear Deb Copaken tell her truth. You must bear witness through her personal narrative to the macro as it defines the micro, the granular facts and experiences of her existence. Consider this part political, part personal, part timely/topical, part universal, part tragedy, part levity, part punchline, part punch people in the face (I think she says neck!!!), part compelling, part repulsing, part I will listen to this until EVERYONE STOP -- This must be your next listen. Listen because you need to hear Deb Copaken tell her truth. You must bear witness through her personal narrative to the macro as it defines the micro, the granular facts and experiences of her existence. Consider this part political, part personal, part timely/topical, part universal, part tragedy, part levity, part punchline, part punch people in the face (I think she says neck!!!), part compelling, part repulsing, part I will listen to this until I am bleary eyed and part take this away from me I am going to loose it. Well, that was just my experience. All I can promise is that you will never forget this book. You will never think about things the same again. And you will, like me, send an audio book link to your nearest and dearest suggesting, no insisting, they listen to Ms. Copaken ASAP.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Melissa

    I have to say, I would never ever want to exchange lives with Deborah Copaken. Wow, that woman has been through some tough stuff, to put it mildly. And she has come through it with her humanity and her righteous anger and even some humor intact. Amazing. This is the story of her life as told by her, and it's horrifying in many ways. If you can make it through the first chapter, you are entitled to a purple heart. I made it through but I will never forget it. The other thing I want to say is that s I have to say, I would never ever want to exchange lives with Deborah Copaken. Wow, that woman has been through some tough stuff, to put it mildly. And she has come through it with her humanity and her righteous anger and even some humor intact. Amazing. This is the story of her life as told by her, and it's horrifying in many ways. If you can make it through the first chapter, you are entitled to a purple heart. I made it through but I will never forget it. The other thing I want to say is that she wrote the episode of the Amazon Prime series Modern Love that I liked the best (I watched it again last night after I finished the book), it's S1E2, When Cupid Is a Prying Journalist, with Catherine Keener and Dev Patel. I added this because I feel I can forgive her for Emily in Paris or whatever the name of that ridiculous show is, as long as I can balance it with the Modern Love piece. Read this book! It's well worth the 17 hours of audiobook, too. :)

  24. 5 out of 5

    Sam S

    There is a lot packed into this memoir: The struggle of a woman's body breaking down and living in a country that does not support this inevitability. The completely bonkers system in the States to have an overly expensive medical system tied to your employment. Living the life in a female body and finding out how little is known about it. The facts that you can do everything right, and things don't go your way over and over again. Single parenthood. Sexual assault. A lot more. The author narrates the a There is a lot packed into this memoir: The struggle of a woman's body breaking down and living in a country that does not support this inevitability. The completely bonkers system in the States to have an overly expensive medical system tied to your employment. Living the life in a female body and finding out how little is known about it. The facts that you can do everything right, and things don't go your way over and over again. Single parenthood. Sexual assault. A lot more. The author narrates the audiobook, and did a good job.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Allison

    More like 4.5 but closer to 5... Funny and wise memoir that I'm so glad to have read. This author called out so many inequities (gender, financial etc) through descriptions of her medical challenges and underemployment, lack of health insurance and single parenting. Lots of great information shared throughout. I'm already sharing some Insights gathered with friends. More like 4.5 but closer to 5... Funny and wise memoir that I'm so glad to have read. This author called out so many inequities (gender, financial etc) through descriptions of her medical challenges and underemployment, lack of health insurance and single parenting. Lots of great information shared throughout. I'm already sharing some Insights gathered with friends.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Angela Schlater

    I found this riveting, terrifying, enraging, and give it five starts because she survived.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Laura Buechler

    What an amazing, angrifying, thought-provoking book. If you have ladyparts, or care about someone who does, read it.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Alison Mann

    I loved everything about this. This book was raw and smart and beautiful and I can’t stop thinking about it.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Liz marx

    So much good information for women. I’m sorry Deborah has had to endure so many physical issues but I appreciate that she has been able to help so many other women by writing about her life.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    I rarely write anything on a review. But this came at such a perfect time for me and resonated like a Tibetan Singing Bowl. My life is drastically different from hers in so many ways, but with so many of the same experiences. I am grateful for her literal transparency.

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