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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She immediately reminded him of a girl he had known years before, Sharon, a painfully serious girl with a pale, serious face whom he had tormented on and off for two years before leaving for his wife.

Why is Bad Behavior So Good? | Literary Hub

The stories do shock you, but Gaitskill allows the characters and their dingy, drug-filled, sexually unfulfilled, disenchanted lives an This collection of stories is difficult to pin down effectively enough to give a rating to. He beuavior dismissed Sarah may ago and appears likely to do the same again. I especially appreciate her depiction of how the dissolution of close friendships can haunt us as much or more than past romantic relationships.

She was delicately morbid in all her gestures, sensitive, arrogant, vulnerable to flattery.

Gaitskill’s essay in Harper’s also addresses feminist debates about date rapevictimization, and responsibility. It makes for an unpleasant read at times.

But you wouldn’t choose to spend time with them in real life, and reading about them wasn’t all that much fun either. While walking back from the laundrymat because this is a thing New Yorkers do, we walk our laundry home after doing it it being laundry, not “it”, I’m not the sort of person who does base things like that.

I thought MG’s stories were going to be clever salacious fun but they’re so blah – er, what’s the posh word – affectless. Apr 25, Jessica Sullivan rated it liked it Shelves: But it’s so much better to come late than to not come at all. View all 28 comments. I’m only about f I can’t figure out why I’m not enjoying this book more. So the story about the lady who hooks on the side turns out to be more about one of her relation I found this book on a list of the ten sexiest books of all time, and I should have known as soon as I saw Tropic of Cancer that the author was confusing “sexy” with “containing sex”, but this contains the story that spawned the movie “Secretary”!


I recalled “Heaven” as a short story that mostly describes a middle-aged mom at a barbecue, sitting in a plastic chair with meat- and food-juices dripping down her face, remembering the lives of her grown-up chil God, how I love the story “Heaven” in Mary Gaitskill’s collection Bad Behavior. Was it a quality that other people had?

Like the most conventional of romantic comedies, it ends with the heroine being carried through a doorway in a wedding dress, and then her beloved washes her hair in a glamorous bathtub, and then there is an extremely tender sex scene.

Not so demure then, I think. Sep 18, Tim Jones-Yelvington rated it really liked it.

These are the last two paragraphs:. Instead of sadomasochism being portrayed as damaging, the screenplay by Erin Cressida Wilson behaavior that the experience could be liberating. The novel The Marepublished inis written from the perspectives of several different characters. Her fingers and behavoir, Constance thought, had an exposed, strangely cold and receptive quality, like the nose of a puppy.

Chrissy is completely flabbergasted about why her friend would turn to such work to which her friend responds: It was, as Leisha said later, the time they fell in love.

His narrow eyes became feral once again. But there’s also this plot I’d forgotten, about Virginia’s mousy sister Ann, and Ann’s troubled teenage daughter.

I think one problem with her stories are the male characters are always so fucking lame. This collection of stories is difficult to pin down effectively enough to give a rating to. These seem to me to represent essential realities about the world that are often glossed over, ignored, or rewritten in fiction—particularly the epiphany-based fiction that has until recently been the widely accepted norm. I like being inside of Virginia’s weird consciousness, and how much feeling the author can wring out of writing about a character who does not in fact feel every little bump bbehavior the road.


If they are, she is very good at creating that character, but in this collection the other characters feel either flat or like wooden set-pieces. Overall, this book is a good, easy-to-read, thinking woman’s collection. Taitskill you like reading stories about strong women who also like to get smacked around from time to time this might appeal to you.

Even with that realization, however, I might have finished the book but not liked it. Then I found Mary Gaitskill. The children’s young-adult and adult lives bring crises and surprises: Nov 17, Ben Loory rated it it was amazing.

Now, I read the stories differently, but I love them no less.

Bad Behavior

As infrequently complete as most of these stories feel, I was exhilarated reading them, with Trying To Be my favorite. Sign up here to receive your FREE alerts. Re-reading some favorite short stories lately, it’s been funny to realize the gaps between how I remember them and how they really are.

Of course, she realized what he liked about her.


May 12, Allan MacDonell rated it it was amazing. Quotes from Bad Behavior. I frequently found myself wondering how a given two characters could bear talking to each other for five minutes, let alone long enough to imagine they wanted to have some sort of relationship with each other.

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