In Praise of Difficult Women
Life Lessons from 29 Heroines who Dared to Break the Rules
From Frida Kahlo and Elizabeth Taylor to Nora Ephron, Carrie Fisher, and Lena Dunham, this witty narrative explores what we can learn from the imperfect and extraordinary legacies of 29 iconic women who forged their own unique paths in the world.
Smart, sassy, and unapologetically feminine, this elegantly illustrated book is an ode to the bold and charismatic women of modern history. Best-selling author Karen Karbo (The Gospel According to Coco Chanel) spotlights the spirited rule breakers who charted their way with little regard for expectations: Amelia Earhart, Helen Gurley Brown, Edie Sedgwick, Hillary Clinton, Amy Poehler, and Shonda Rhimes, among others.
Their lives – imperfect, elegant, messy, glorious–provide inspiration and instruction for the new age of feminism we have entered. Karbo distills these lessons with wit and humor, examining the universal themes that connect us to each of these mesmerizing personalities today: success and style, love and authenticity, daring and courage. Being “difficult,” Karbo reveals, might not make life easier. But it can make it more fulfilling–whatever that means for you.
In the Reader’s Guide included in the back of the book, Karbo asks thought-provoking questions about how we relate to each woman that will make for fascinating book club conversation.
Praise for In Praise of Difficult Women
”Refreshingly frank, Karbo’s book celebrates women who forged provocative identities and found life fulfillment despite the odds they faced. Inspiring reading about women who have shown that it’s all right to occupy our humanity.Kirkus
”Karbo examines the universal themes that connect each of us to these icons of female badassery and argues that being “difficult” can lead to a more fulfilling life.BookRiot
”The women chosen are eclectic, while the narrative is researched and informed yet conversationally welcoming...Karbo’s fondness for rule breakers and benders is clear, and she defends them through character quirks and missteps – real women lead real and flawed lives.Foreword
”Part biography, part inspiration, all parts fascinating, In Praise of Difficult Women is a wise and hilarious reminder of the importance of being a pain in the ass. Keep it by your bedside.Meghan Daumbest-selling author of The Unspeakable
”In Praise of Difficult Women offers many words of wisdom, including sage advice from fashion titan Diana Vreeland, who noted that the only right life to live is “the one you know you want, and you make it for yourself."Women's Voices ForeSight
”In 29 takes, Karen Karbo catalogs the ways in which a woman rankles: She can be independent, exacting, impatient, persistent, opinionated, angry, unaccommodating, ambitious, restless, confident, brilliant, articulate, or just plain visible. Nothing is lost on Karbo, from Elizabeth Taylor’s double eyelashes to the contents of Martha Gellhon’s travel bag (two white linen dresses and a volume of Proust) to Amelia Earhart’s homemade rollercoaster. You’ll need two copies.Stacy Schiffauthor of Cleopatra and The Witches
”Difficult seems absolutely delightful in these absorbing, inspiring, and often surprising portraits that do more than entertain. They raise important questions about femininity and culture, power and bravery – and make us ask these same questions about our mothers, sisters, daughters, and ourselves. Though Karbo masterfully covers a wide range of exceptional women, what unites them is the way they make ‘difficult’ become a quality not to avoid but to aspire to with gusto.Lori GottliebNew York Times best-selling author of Marry Him
”In Praise of Difficult Women is a collection of short biographies of well-known women who are difficult in what Karbo thinks is the best sense -- strong, independent, smart, assertive.The Seattle Times
”This book is a history lesson that goes down like cotton candy: pink, sweet, and fun as hell. Don't miss it.NextTribe