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Bearded Women: Stories

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4.05  ·  Rating Details  ·  88 Ratings  ·  29 Reviews
Welcome to the contemporary Freak Show. A woman trying to have a child has a parasitic twin, an extra lower torso, and set of legs named Bianca— should she have "Bianca's Body" removed to improve her chances at conception? A bearded lady considers coming out of the closet about her hirsute nature, while carrying on a battle of wills with an overeating patron in "Mr. Chicke ...more
ebook, 250 pages
Published April 24th 2012 by ChiZine (first published January 1st 2011)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 387)
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Melki
Woodwork squeaks and out come the freaks.*

Conjoined twins, a cyclops gal, bearded beauties, Medusas, giants, people with extra ears, limbs and skin...they're all par for the course here. And they're not freaks, not really. They're just trying to lead normal lives. Just like the rest of us. They hold dull, meaningless jobs while raising kids and falling in and out of love. Sometimes their tempers get the better of them and they burst into flames, but seriously...who hasn't felt their blood boil a
...more
Calisto
Oct 13, 2011 Calisto rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone looking for something different
Shelves: weird, netgalley
Meet the 'freaks' - they're mothers, wives, and lovers: all of them trying negotiate a world that is quicker to stare than sympathize.

"What the ef are you reading, Cali?" That's probably what you're thinking, right? Trust me. I totally hear yah. LOL. So let me explain. I am a cover snob. It doesn't matter if it's a bestseller or a self-pub. I look at covers and critique them (though I'm way more understanding of self-pubs). Anyone who says bookcovers aren't important is naive. It doesn't matter
...more
Mandy
Jan 12, 2012 Mandy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Dehumanized by a world which has used their oddities for entertainment purposes, the women in Teresa Milbrodt's Bearded Women Stories challenge our thoughts on genetic variances and humanity and how we view our own selves. With wit and charm, she beautifully weaves short stories about women who are as real as we, who are strong in the presence of adversity, and whose only desire is to live their lives, embracing those aspects which make them so different than those around them. These stories of ...more
Jade Eby
Originally published at my blog Chasing Empty Pavements

This cover is absurd yet crazy awesome. It’s what initially made me want to read this novel. But the words within the story is what kept me reading. The blurb is pretty amazing too. This book is basically made up of “freaks” with stories to tell.

The Good: What I didn’t expect to find in this novel was such great writing. It was beautifully written but it had this strange, lyrical feel to it. The thing I loved about this novel was that even t
...more
InvisaWriter
Oct 15, 2011 InvisaWriter rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I will admit that this is not the type of book I would normally pick up in the store. I have a tendency of judging books by their covers, which is in direct opposition to the old adage admonishing against such behaviour. It isn’t even that the cover of the book is bad, It’s a great cover, in fact, I’d probably thumb through it a little before I ended up buying something else, all the while wishing I had purchased this book. I have a habit of staying in the wonderfully expansive and quite perfect ...more
Katy
Oct 22, 2011 Katy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of interesting stories
Recommended to Katy by: netGalley
Shelves: ebook, net-galley
Come one, come all and see the macabre, the strange and the beautiful world of those the world deems freaks! From conjoined twins to bearded woman to people with extra body parts ranging from a whole extra torso and set of legs, to some extra ears, to a cyclops, a giantess, a Medusa – even a Butterfly Woman! You will thrill to the sensuous legs on Bianca’s Body – you will chill at the woman who spontaneously combusts when she becomes angry – you will fill with the woman who finds herself by join ...more
Lexyvs
Oct 23, 2011 Lexyvs rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own-it
I picked up my copy of Bearded Women at Toronto’s Word on the Street festival last month, and finally finished it. I’m going to say right now that my slowness in finishing had absolutely nothing at all to do with the book. I got married last week, so suffice it to say that my then fiancé (now husband) and I had a lot to do, and sadly not a lot of time to read. But even with everything going on, I didn’t want to put Bearded Women down.

Each story in the book is about someone who, if this were seve
...more
Diana
Oct 17, 2011 Diana rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It’s almost impossible to resist the urge to stand up with a megaphone screaming, “Step right up, step right up! Come one, come all!” when introducing Teresa Milbrodt’s Bearded Women Stories. Bearded Women Stories, while very unimaginatively titled, is a poignant collection of short stories that doesn’t focus solely on the unusual physical conditions of the people but on their basic human struggles. It’s not difficult to empathize with these people because many people have tried to have a baby, ...more
Sara Thompson
Nov 29, 2011 Sara Thompson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
I'm not even sure how to categorize this book. It's beautiful and touching with just a touch of sarcasm and wit. This collection of short stories has to be the best I have ever read.
The description from NetGalley is this: Welcome to the contemporary Freak Show. A woman trying to have a child has a parasitic twin, an extra lower torso, and set of legs named Bianca—should she have "Bianca's Body" removed to improve her chances at conception? A bearded lady considers coming out of the closet about
...more
David
Oct 09, 2011 David rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love these stories. They are interesting and warm with an emotional connection that strikes something deep inside. It's interesting, each of these stories involve freaks, but it doesn't seem like that when I read. Despite how obviously different the characters are, they seem like so many people I've known. People I've been close to. When it comes down to it, their problems are the same problems we can identify with. I've heard it said that we can't see the familiar, that the way our brain work ...more
Nancy Baker
Dec 20, 2014 Nancy Baker rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent collection of short stories whose main characters are what might be called freaks but whose concerns are familiar to most of us (love, aging, infertility, parents, siblings). There is a cool, matter-of-fact tone to the prose but that only heightens the emotional impact.
Allen Tran
Aug 31, 2014 Allen Tran rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Satan
Recommended to Allen by: Teresa Milbrodt
Shelves: junk, trash, racism
Author is Racist:


In Fall 2012 "professor" (no capital, it is not deserved) Milbrodt was my instructor for English 300 Creative Writing. She would often play YouTube videos and sit back and relax. We read mostly junk/really short things and talked about it in class. The idiots (students) at Western State College would spitball their opinions and that was that. Not much actual learning took place.

To no surprise Milbrodt was fired. My first class with her was to be my last (thank god). I recommend
...more
Michelle
Oct 26, 2011 Michelle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received an advance reader's copy of this book from netgalley.

I couldn't wait to start reading this short story collection from people who would be freaks.
As with most collections, some of the short stories were amazing, while some didn't hold my interest for very long.
Jenny
Oct 24, 2011 Jenny rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was great! Lots of short stories in current time of "freaks" getting by. Genius. Couldn't put it down. I do wish some of the stories would have been longer or resolved more, but it was great little sneak peeks. The first story is probably my favorite.
Tyrannosaurus regina
I started out worried that this collection was going to be at least a little exploitative or dehumanizing, based on the title and theme, but it wasn't that at all. It was the opposite of that. I never anticipated how moved I was going to be. The stories all explore the body and identity in different ways, some bodies falling within the breadth of human variation (conjoined twins, gigantism, ichthyosis) and a few not (cyclops, medusa). In all of them we explore the person, the way they negotiate ...more
Janet
May 21, 2013 Janet rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2013
This was almost impossible not to love. The stories are creative and funny, sad, and touching all at the same time. Like nothing I've read before and I hope to read more like it!
Rick Claypool
Smart prose and compelling characters each with their own endearingly warped perspectives. A weird and worthwhile read.
Stephanie
Mar 06, 2015 Stephanie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Typically not much of a short story reader, I was captivated from the start. Yes, each amazing freaky attribute possessed by the women in these tales is fantastically interesting in an of itself, but here's the hook: the real beauty, the real genius, is in the matter-of-fact normalcy possessed by each character, and the unbiased community built around each of these women that allows them to be unabashedly, unashamedly themselves.
Fun, strange, and often whimsical, this book is a pleasure to read
...more
Alexis
Feb 01, 2015 Alexis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
Started this book before Christmas, but finished it after. It's a collection of stories featuring bearded women, siamese twins, and people with other physical or emotional oddities. (Holes in their palms, extra skin flaps, giantism etc).

I loved this book. It was wonderfully odd, creative and funny, and told stories about extraordinary people facing ordinary things like change and loneliness.

I also liked the style of writing.

Recommended.
Wondy
I had no idea what to expect out of this book, and did in fact brace myself for a bunch of stories about ~weirdos and freaks~ in the way that makes me want to huck books across the room. Fortunately, what I found was a collection of really fucking awesome stories about identity and difference and bodies.

A+ Theresa Milbrodt, would read again.

Now I must make my wife, who is the best bearded lady, read these.
Johanne
Aug 02, 2015 Johanne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There are hits and misses, in my oppinion. More hits than misses and the hits are spot on. I listened to it through audible and though I love a good short story collection I don't like them so much on audio because it can easily get confusing but this one was worth it. I am def getting the ebook as well so I can actually read these gems.
Emily
while the stories did not follow the theme I expected given the title, they were well-written, heart warming and relatable. given the cast of characters in each story, this is a great feat as there is something about each that is redeeming.
Frances Brent
It is a circus sideshow world, orisit really? Emotions and relationships are searingly human in a world that could be a nightmare, but isn't.
Karl
Nov 26, 2014 Karl marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: chizine_own
This is copy 1 of 150 signed numbered copies.
Cambria
Aug 01, 2014 Cambria rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
All the stories are gems! (minus the last two which were just meh)
Ian Mond
Mar 31, 2014 Ian Mond rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you'd like to hear - rather than read - my thoughts on Bearded Women Stories, please visit episode 35 of The Writer and The Critic podcast with my co-host Kirstyn McDermott

http://writerandcritic.podbean.com/20...
Pavarti Tyler
Oct 23, 2013 Pavarti Tyler rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Beautiful collection full of insight and grace. I'm overwhelmed by the talent of the author here. Thank you! Looking forward to finding more work by her!
Carly Miller
Easily the best collection of short stories that I've ever read!
Veronica
Feb 28, 2012 Veronica rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Silly and a waste of time.
Elyza
Elyza marked it as to-read
Jul 18, 2016
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Teresa Milbrodt grew up in Ohio, and received her MFA in Creative Writing and her MA in American Culture Studies from Bowling Green State University. She is the author of a short story collection, Bearded Women: Stories, published by ChiZine Publications. Her upcoming novel, The Patron Saint of Unattractive People, will be published by Boxfire Press in September 2013. Milbrodt's stories have appea ...more
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