These are the sorts of days authors dream of. Today my editors at Gotham Books emailed me the review of my forthcoming memoir, The Feminist and the Cowboy: An Unlikely Love Story, that just came out from the venerated book industry trade magazine Publisher’s Weekly. I am so pleased PW liked my first literary nonfiction book! They totally “got” it. I’m going to go do a happy dance for about an hour now, to celebrate. The book will be released on Jan. 3, 2013. Have you pre-ordered your copies yet? Click here to do it! (Yes, plural – get one for a friend!)
Here’s the review!
After going on endless online dates with liberal, modern men who seemed to be her ideal, Valdes (The Dirty Girls Social Club) does something totally out of character and e-mails a conservative cowboy, the story of their unlikely romance unfolding with wit and intelligence. Valdes came from a household of mixed messages, where the progressive, feminist ideals her parents preached were not practiced behind closed doors. She grew up angry and confused and believed the path to independence was to act like her father, who was controlling and domineering, a pattern she perpetuated into her 40s. Meeting the antimetrosexual, traditional throwback creates a new kind of confusion, as she finds herself more attracted to him than any other man ever. As she’s feeling the first contentment she’s known in years, he prompts her to question how she’s been living her life and what she trusts to be her values. She struggles to reconcile her feminist brain with the more animal, instinctive reaction she’s having to the cowboy, with the latter connecting with her more, and comes to an arguably incendiary realization: “The dirty little secret of feminism was that it could never go as far as it aimed to, because we were… fundamentally shackled to our own biology.” Whether one agrees with her conclusions about relationships between the sexes, Valdes has written a thought-provoking exploration of her own missteps and the tremendous obstacles she has overcome to achieve happiness in the second half of her life. (Jan.)