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The literary heroines in Bobbed Hair and Bathtub Gin did what they wanted, said what they thought. They drank gallons of cocktails and knew how to have fun in New York, the Riviera, and Hollywood, where they met and played with all the people worth knowing. They kicked open the door for 20th-century female writers and set a new model for every woman trying to juggle the serious issues of economic independence, political power, and sexual freedom.
In a style and tone that perfectly captures the jazzy rhythms and desperate gaiety that defined the era, Meade tells the individual stories of Parker, Fitzgerald, Millay, and Ferber, traces the intersections of their lives, and describes the men, including F. Scott Fitzgerald, Edmund Wilson, Harold Ross, and Robert Benchley, who influenced them, loved them, and sometimes betrayed them. She describes their social and literary triumphs (Parker's Round Table witticisms appeared almost daily in the newspapers and Ferber and Millay won Pulitzer Prizes) and writes movingly of the penances they paid: the crumbled love affairs, abortions, depression, lost beauty, nervous breakdowns, and, finally, overdoses and even madness.
A vibrant mixture of literary scholarship, social history, and gossip, Bobbed Hair and Bathtub Gin is a rich evocation of a period that continues to intrigue and captivate listeners.
"Reading Meade's book is like looking at a photo album while listening to a witty insider reminisce about the images. Her writing is bright, her language charged with gritty details....Instead of portraying them as austere literary figures, Meade makes the women seem like part of the family." (San Francisco Chronicle)
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Diana on 02-19-05
The people in this book prove the old adage that truth is stranger than fiction! This book gives such in-depth descriptions of events and personalities that, although the book really focuses on the 1920's and cannot be all-inclusive given the number of characters covered, I feel as though I have a very good sense of who they were. It was heartbreaking, funny and gossipy. I highly recommend this book!
6 of 6 people found this review helpful
By Celia on 07-29-05
A lot of fun!
This book was a romp through the 20's with some of it's more interesting characters. It's fascinating to find out how very human and fragile legends really are. This group lived on the edge but they had the problems of ordinary people too. What makes it so much fun is to see it all through their creative and usually very humorous points of view!
4 of 4 people found this review helpful