Rita Will: Memoir of a Literary Rabble-Rouser Paperback – Jan 5 1999
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Before Rubyfruit Jungle stormed the book world in 1973, the term "bestselling lesbian novelist" was an oxymoron. But Rita Mae Brown's first novel was so honest and funny that it broke all barriers. The 52-year-old author's memoirs have the same sassy panache as her fiction. Generous and loving toward her eccentric family and most of those with whom she's been intimate, Brown pulls no punches when depicting those she considers hypocrites or cowards. Billie Jean King will hate this book; Martina Navratilova won't like it either. Almost everyone else will find it a delight. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Library Journal
This is an autobiography of novelist, essayist, poet, and screenwriter Brown, who reached fame and notoriety with her first novel, Rubyfruit Jungle (1973). She begins with her illegitimate birth and adoption by relatives, followed by amusing tales of her adopted mother, father, and Aunt Mimi; accounts of her childhood pranks; stories of her volatile life as a student, political activist, lover of tennis champion Martina Navratilova and Fannie Flagg; and reminiscences of a writer who dared to live, speak, and write openly and honestly. Whether or not readers agree with her ideology, opinions, and lifestyle, they will enjoy the ease, candor, and humor with which Brown relates her life story. Brown's passions for life, her work, the English language, the South, and animals, especially her longtime cat companion, "Baby Jesus," are evident throughout. Reading this book is like sitting down and exchanging tales with a good friend or close family member.
-?Jeris Cassel, Rutgers Univ. Libs., New Brunswick, N.J.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
Her account of the Martina/Judy galimony brouhaha is especially hilarious, with poor Rita Mae stuck in the middle, trying to encourage the two to settle things amicably. She gives a highly unflattering (but probably true) portrait of Judy Nelson. Her first impression of Judy was: "How often do you meet a woman whose hair can be ruined by a ceiling fan?" That one cracks me up every time. She talks about some of her relationships with women, most notable those with Martina Navratilova, Fannie Flagg, and Judy Nelson.
She relates the struggles she went through getting a college education and establishing her writing career, but she manages to keep things light by peppering amusing anecdotes of family life (and reactions) in between the more serious passages. She talks about her days as an lesbian feminist activist with Betty Friedan and Gloria Steinem, which I found to be of great interest, as she worked closely with these famous women. She is not kind to Billie Jean King, declaring, "Some people get the face they deserve as they grow old; Billie Jean also got the thighs she deserved." MEOOWWW. Sneaky Pie must have contributed that one.
This is a thoroughly enjoyable read, full of Southern wit and charm. If you're a fan of Rita Mae's work, you'll love reading her real-life story.
This is an autobiography. Of course the book is about her. Dah! There are a few instances where she comes off a little haughty in my opinion, but I haven't published books or earned the money to have a farm in Virginia, and I didn't struggle through poverty for years to get there either, so I think she's entitled to a little license, folks. The only part I didn't like was when she discussed Fannie Flagg's former lover and only gave her a pseudonym with a vague but "see if you can guess" description. I'm a born gossip and love stuff like that! I think I figured out her hints, but I hate having to do that. It's such a silly exercise. Maybe that was the point in doing that, who knows. Anyone in the closet ought to read this regarding her depiction of Jerry Pfeiffer. I think the silliness of that lifestyle is well exposed simply by recounting the facts. Anyway, very good read!
Rita Mae's vast knowledge of historical, social and political issues was incredibly impressive and her own transcendance from a farm girl to a social icon for Lesbianism places her among some of the most significant writers in American Women's History.
She's a smart lady with an honest heart who knows what she believes and is unafraid to stand up and be counted irregardless of the cost. As a younger woman, I feel eternally grateful to have her as a dependable advocate for womens' and minorities' issues. RITA WILL not only gives the reader a surprising view of the authors life story but also a slice of Women's History from the perspective of an active participant.
Most recent customer reviews
As a proud vet of the Feminist frontlines 1968-1976, I could hardly wait to read her newest book. Her classic book Rubyfruit Jungle was a gem. Read morePublished on March 23 2004
After reading R.M. Brown's "Sudden death" and "Rubyfruit jungle", I simply had to know what is fiction and what is true in these books full of entertaining... Read morePublished on Aug. 30 2001 by MaRie
One of the greatest gifts a popular author can give their fans next to a "How To" on writing and style is an Autobiography. In her Memoir Ms. Read morePublished on Dec 27 2000 by Brian Nahodil
If you, too, are a fan Rita's, you will find few surprises in Rita Will. Much of what I read was fictionalized already in Rubyfruit Jungle and Rita's three Juts and Wheezy novels... Read morePublished on Feb. 29 2000
Although I'm hesitant to write due to my bias- Ms. Brown is my favorite author- I had a hard time understanding the reviews that use words like 'egoist'. Read morePublished on March 24 1999
I came across this book completely unaware of who the personna of Rita Mae Brown was. I have to admit her attitude came across as soon as I opened the first pages. Read morePublished on Aug. 25 1998 by Antonio Sacin (email@example.com)
Rita Mae Brown is like another well-known Southern aristocrat, Florence King, in both her rapier wit and sexual proclivities. Read morePublished on July 29 1998 by barbara holliday-evans
I thought this was an excellent book. It has even more humor than many of her other books --- or maybe it seems that way since this time, it's non-fiction. It is also touching. Read morePublished on July 16 1998