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Book Title: SMART WOMEN|
Date of issue: March 1st 1985
ISBN 13: 9780671502683
The author of the book: Judy Blume
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 33.69 MB
Edition: Pocket Books
Read full description of the books SMART WOMEN:I read this in one go on a plane and, while its light, airy feel--a mix of very 80s melodrama and romance--was soothing when cooped up with complete strangers for 10 hours, it was also very annoying and trying. The main reason: I didn't really like any of the characters.
Like nearly every other woman who grew up in the late 70s or 80s, I'd read plenty Judy Blume teen fiction as a tween & teen, and mostly I enjoyed them, though I never counted them as 'literature'. Still, her realistic characters and situations spoke to me and I found many of her books compelling, even addictive. And yet, like many essentially children's writer, Bloom never really makes the transition to adult fiction very well or even convincing. Ages ago I read 'Wify' and, while decidedly stronger and better than 'Smart Women', both the characters and the situations left me a bit annoyed, just as now.
'Smart Women' is a very early 80s story, pre 'Working Girl' or 'Fatal Attraction' and still immersed in the post 60s battles that gave way to the Women's Movement, albeit already with an inkling of the 'costs' said movement also brought to many of the women of that generation--mainly, those born in the mid to late 30s and early to mid 40s. Basically, these are women who have cut themselves off from the priorities their mothers saw as fundamental, who took their college education more seriously (not just to meet Eligible Men) and who, finding themselves in stifling marriages (who often married the Wrong Man) embark on careers and a path of self-discovery, a search for the self that to modern, post-feminist women may at times seem rather similar to the search that control the lives of teens and not adults. So these are women managing their lives and yet being anything but 'smart.' That's the point of the title, and the storyline.
We've two adult leads, Margo and B.B (a.k.a Francine) and two girl teens, their daughters, Michelle (17) and Sara (13) respectively. Margo is a NY Jew who married a successful dentist because, why not? Until she could stand neither him nor the marriage and, as an architect, took herself off to Boulder, CO, to 'find herself', along the way entering and exiting several mostly pointless love and sexual affairs--all very late 70s, early 80s. God, but sometimes these women seem sooooo stupid!! :) Margo is supposed to be an optimist but simply comes off as naive and childish, so obsessed with feeling good and having her fun that she seems oblivious to her job as role model and protector of her kids. She certainly seems oblivious to Michelle's very obvious adolescent angst--while Michelle herself comes off as a pain, simple as that. Worse, though, is what comes off as Margo's complete inability to understand the depth of tragedy behind B.B.'s much stronger story: B.B. lost her son when he was 10 in a car accident produced, if by accident, by her then husband Andrew, now, for no logical reason, lover to Margo.
B.B. herself is, fictionwise, a stronger character because there is at list a logic to her story and her personality. She was brought up to be beautiful, perfect and in control of men to counteract her philandering Irish father and reassure her mother, who it turns out later had actually been having an affair with her own sister's husband! B.B. marries Andrew, a man who seems more in awe of her beauty than in touch with her inner self, and loses it completely when her son dies in Andrew's car crash.
Still, if you'd like a Lifetime soap opera, this is it!
Read information about the authorJudy Blume spent her childhood in Elizabeth, New Jersey, making up stories inside her head. She has spent her adult years in many places doing the same thing, only now she writes her stories down on paper. Adults as well as children will recognize such Blume titles as: Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret; Blubber; Just as Long as We're Together; and the five book series about the irrepressible Fudge. She has also written three novels for adults, Summer Sisters; Smart Women; and Wifey, all of them New York Times bestsellers. More than 80 million copies of her books have been sold, and her work has been translated into thirty-one languages. She receives thousands of letters a year from readers of all ages who share their feelings and concerns with her.
Judy received a B.S. in education from New York University in 1961, which named her a Distinguished Alumna in 1996, the same year the American Library Association honored her with the Margaret A. Edwards Award for Lifetime Achievement. Other recognitions include the Library of Congress Living Legends Award and the 2004 National Book Foundation's Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters.
She is the founder and trustee of The Kids Fund, a charitable and educational foundation. She serves on the boards of the Author's Guild; the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators; the Key West Literary Seminar; and the National Coalition Against Censorship.
Judy is a longtime advocate of intellectual freedom. Finding herself at the center of an organized book banning campaign in the 1980's she began to reach out to other writers, as well as teachers and librarians, who were under fire. Since then, she has worked tirelessly with the National Coalition Against Censorship to protect the freedom to read. She is the editor of Places I Never Meant To Be, Original Stories by Censored Writers.
Judy has completed a series of four chapter books -- The Pain & the Great One -- illustrated by New Yorker cartoonist James Stevenson. She has co-written and produced a film adaptation of her book Tiger Eyes, and is currently writing a new novel.
Judy and her husband George Cooper live on islands up and down the east coast. They have three grown children and one grandchild.
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