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Rita Will: Memoir of a Literary Rabble-Rouser Paperback – Jan 5 1999

3.9 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam (Jan. 5 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553378260
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553378269
  • Product Dimensions: 15.5 x 2.8 x 23.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 590 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,760,834 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From Amazon

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.

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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This book is hilarious--several times I found myself laughing out loud at something she said. I minused out one star because of her blatant southern-centricism--she thinks most of us Yankees are rude, and that only southerners possess real manners. My little tabby cat Sammy says PFFFFFTTT to that.
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.
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By A Customer on Sept. 25 2001
Format: Paperback
...I'm a tennis fan who was curious about the author's insights on Martina Navratilova. What I ended up with was a tremendously interesting and engaging book. Rita Mae Brown has perspectives and experiences unlike my own and I could not put the book down. I liked the parts about her family also. Certainly there are political messages here, but they are based on her own experiences and are not "preachy" or coming from someone who lives in theories only. If you are a fan of her books, this will be a big treat for you. If you don't know her, read this book for a different life perspective, particuarly about women's issues, including lesbian issues. If these issues offend you, or you don't like reading about them, then this book is probably not for you. It's not an integral part of the book, but it is there. The book is about a person. The book reads like you are talking to her, and she is very interesting. Also, I always suspected Billie Jean King was wretched personally, so I really liked the parts where my opinion is all but supported by someone in the know!
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!
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Format: Hardcover
Anyone who has read Rita Mae Brown's earlier works or heard her as a public speaker would agree that she's one of the smartest, quick witted and entertaining female writers on the scene today. Her Autobiography is another example of her strong intellect, courage and humor while sometimes sounding a bit self-indulgent and egotistical. In spite of its narcissistic tone I really enjoyed this book.
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.
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Format: Hardcover
I already knew that Rita Mae Brown is one of the funniest writers alive today. I split my sides reading "Six of One", which remains my favorite. Now I appreciate just how intelligent, courageous, and resourceful she is. She dives right into life, and has played a part in some of our most tempestuous recent history. I found her analyses of the feminist movement, the gay-rights movement, "hollyweird" to be refreshingly candid and intelligent, as is her Southern working class viewpoint. I had a little trouble getting through the first part of the book, lists of names of people I don't know who aren't really described; but I found I couldn't put it down even then. I like this woman, and I appreciate her sharing herself and her opinions with me. There aren't too many people whose opinions I care to hear. I'm writing this because I found some of the reviews here shockingly petty and sniping. Here's a bit of heartfelt acclaim to tip the scales the other way.
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