The fascinating lives of the characters in Almost Famous Women have mostly been forgotten, but their stories are burning to be told. Nearly every story in this dazzling collection is based on a woman who attained some celebrity - she raced speed boats or was a conjoined twin in show business; a reclusive painter of renown; a member of the first all-female, integrated swing band. We see Lord Byron's illegitimate daughter, Allegra; Oscar Wilde's troubled niece, Dolly; West with the Night author Beryl Markham; Edna St. Vincent Millay's sister, Norma. These extraordinary stories travel the world, explore the past (and delve into the future), and portray fiercely independent women defined by their acts of bravery, creative impulses, and sometimes reckless decisions.
"Almost Famous Women is sharp, compassionate, and strong, just like the women depicted in its pages. Megan Mayhew Bergman writes with such precision that we should all quake in her presence. This book only looks like it's made of paper - you are holding priceless diamonds in your hand." (Emma Straub, author of The Vacationers)
"Every one of these stories is as vibrant, as urgent, as surprising as the women therein. What a thrill to listen as they cohere into a chorus of powerful, affecting and often hilarious voices, each unforgettable, together undeniable. Another stunning collection from the brilliant Megan Mayhew Bergman." (Claire Vaye Watkins, author of Battleborn)
"Megan Mayhew Bergman writes with an astonishing force of empathy, a compassion as bright and illuminating as a klieg light. The reader of Almost Famous Women can't help but be seduced by these eccentric, subversive, passionate women who lived their lives with their entire souls and who were furiously unapologetic for doing so." (Lauren Groff, author of Arcadia)
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Wanted to like it.
Good book. Terrible as read here.