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Hypocrite in a Pouffy White Dress: Tales of Growing up Groovy and Clueless

3.68 of 5 stars 3.68  ·  rating details  ·  6,434 ratings  ·  672 reviews
From the author of "Kiss My Tiara" comes a funny and poignant collection of true stories about women coming of age that for once isn't about finding a date.
Paperback, 368 pages
Published January 1st 2005 by Grand Central Publishing (first published 2003)
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Jul 04, 2008 Amyss rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: people who write "LOL"a lot
Her parents were hippies but all she wanted to do was wear a tutu- and she did- to school!! See? It's funny because she is so QUIRKY! So many zany things happen to her, so she has to write about each terribly hilarious embarrassing episode of her white, overprotected, privileged life! But never fear, there is heart and love in the gooey middle! She realizes this when she tests her meddle in a foreign country (Switzerland! oh the culture shock!! The sockets look WEIRD!)that allows her to continue ...more
For those who've yet to read it, the book can be divided into roughly three [unequal] parts: childhood, high school/college and Susan-as-an-adult. The first part was the best for me - perfect mix of funny and sad, just like a good sweet-and-sour sauce should be. The second section is shorter than the others, which is a good thing.
High school pretty much consists of a looooooooong riff on virginity, with a drawn-out celebrity stalking adventure thrown in. Her college years are covered by one ane
Febz Beloy
it’s a fun, wildly imbecilic memoir of a Manhattanite who thought of the world as her playground. I instantly felt this connection with her.

I was the child who bragged and lied in Show and Tell to distinguish myself from the hordes of crying and pee-crazy 5-year-olds in Kindergarten. I admit I lied not to be difficult but to be special. I conjured and fantasized on what I wanted to be when I grow up. I wanted to be a doctor, a ballerina, a social worker, a fireman and a nun. All the while feigni
hilary lay
Oct 14, 2007 hilary lay rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: people who were dorky, weird kids
like a female david sedaris or augusten burroughs, gilman's collection of essays are absolutely hysterical, incredibly poignant, and an absolute must-read for anyone who grew up the least bit awkward, artistic or weird (right there with ya, susan).
i love this book. i love this author. i love her quirky family and her embarasing stories of her childhood.

p.s. if you are jewish, which i am not, i imagine it would be even funnier, if that's even possible.
AJ LeBlanc
Gilman's writing style is amazing. Several times I had to put the book down because I was laughing so hard. She has a great take of growing up as a full on feminist, but at the same time becoming giddy with delight when Mick Jagger points out that she's got huge boobs. This is a woman who's been everywhere and done everything, and it's a brilliant read. The book starts off with her at four years old, the daughter of hippies, prancing around in a tutu and figuring out how to rule the world. Her f ...more
I was literally laughing out loud during the first chapters of this book. The author's commentary on her unique childhood experiences was hilarious and irreverent. I was really looking forward to the rest of the book. I had high hopes for it, but started feeling disappointed the more I read. Instead of becoming more self-aware and grown up, the author seemed to just revel in being a clueless, shallow person who seemed obsessed with the size of her breasts and having sex with every male who walks ...more
Maro Alphabet
Oct 21, 2007 Maro Alphabet rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: everyone!!!
yet another memoir of sorts... but this one is inspirational and simply hysterical.
we follow a young woman realizing her identity and also coming to terms with her slightly off kilter family and her specific expectations from the world.
i have given this book to.. my mother, my sister, my friend danielle and a coworker mike... they have all loved it and even become inspired by it.
if you're in the mood to laugh out loud, here's a book that will have you cryin'!! david sedaris meets augusten borro
Slightly boring memoir. I got the impression the author thought she led a crazy, rebellious life, but she came off too often sounding overprivileged & whiny. I enjoyed her book Undress Me in the Temple of Heaven, but I couldn't be done with this one fast enough.
Kathy (Bermudaonion)
Susan Jane Gilman was raised in Upper West Manhattan in the 1970’s, before it became gentrified. Her family was pretty laid back and “groovy” - her grandmother claimed to be a Communist and her mother signed the whole family up for Transcendental Meditation. Throughout it all, Susie retained an active imagination and developed a sense of humor. Her family motto was, “Reality is for people with no imagination.” Hypocrite in a Pouffy White Dress: Tales of Growing Up Groovy and Clueless by Susan Ja ...more
Niki Clinger
THIS BOOK IS AWESOME!!!!! Originally suggested to me as an interpretation piece for debate, my friend's mother warned me that I may take a liking to the protagonist....understatement of the week. Gilman's recreation of her childhood and adult experiences are hilarious and easily related to, and the descriptions leave nothing to the imagination. Her gritty description of the punk streets of NYC as a teenager are everything that VH1 describes and complaints about being a feminist bride who is plan ...more
This might be my most frequently recommended book and also my most re-read. Susan Jane Gilman’s life isn’t terribly extraordinary (well, aside from having hippie parents who took her to a socialist retreat at age 4), but she writes essays about things like her first job and being picked on at school in the most hilarious and compelling way. The book follows her from her earliest memories to adulthood, so we learn about the lies she told to her kindergarten class, her massive crush on Mick Jagger ...more
Enjoyed reading this book, was introduced to me by the authors father. Any questions that I needed to ask he answered. My main question was " did you truly sit at the park bench while your daughter was being hit for a swing"? His answer was yes...and it was the hardest thing to do. He wanted his daughter to defend herself for 1 mouthing off and 2 parents won't always be around to defend kids.

I don't know if I can agree in the way the lesson was taught but I did tell him that I enjoyed the book.
Growing up Jewish and yet conflicted (do they really have to give up all those lovely Christmas presents?) made for a very interesting childhood. Resenting her mother for putting her in a dopey amateur movie about hippies and yet not taking her to Woodstock, Ms. Gilman was well on her way to being a woman with plenty to write about and she clearly wasn’t going to let a few embarrassing moments stand in her way.

This memoir alternates tones of wryness, bitterness, confusion and self-deprecating hu
Regan Wann
Well, I did make it all the way through the book. I don't think I would go so far as to call her the "female David Sedaris" like some newspaper did. There were some VERY fun essays. There were also some very NOT fun essays, not meaning they were hard (Sedaris and Burroughs both do hard AND fun at the same time, which is impressive), just meaning they weren't so enjoyable to read.

I did have a few truly irked moments - like when Gilman talks about the huge monostrosity that is being a *GASP* SIZE
I found Gilman's naivete, marshmallow softness, lack of self awareness, lack of self preservation, annoying and obnoxious, NOT endearing. She never seems to learn her lesson. She never seems to mature or truly expand her world view. She's gleefully ignorant of things and seems to toss it off with an "I'm just a girl!" insouciance that she should have outgrown somewhere around age 5. The older she gets and the more she refuses to learn from/about anything around her the more tiresome she becomes. ...more
If you like snarky (love that word), sarcastic, witty, self-deprecating humor, then this book is for you. Susan Jane Gilman is a Jewish New Yorker with some pretty funny stories to share; some were laugh out loud funny. I began this book rather unamused but was quickly converted and enjoyed this easy read by this very talented writer.
I enjoyed this book, which was a loan from a friend, more than I thought I was going to. I expected the laughter as the author takes us on a trip through the hippie antics of her parents but there were unexpected moments of real poignancy...especially in describing the effects of a divorce on children, forever.
A memoir of growing up in the sixties. Trying to make a first job work, drugs, teenage crushes,parties, music, it's all there. An entertaining read that I didn't want to end.
A plodding series of monotone stories. Should be subtitled Tales of Growing up Stoned and Self-absorbed.
I saw it on my sister Nikki's list and liked the title. It was a fluffy, entertaining read.
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Susan Jane Gilman grew up with hippy parents in New York in the 1970s, and fully embraced Madonna's style in the 1980's - only missing the opportunity to call her chapter about her teenage years "Desperately Seeking Susan". The stories she tells about her childhood and young adulthood reveal her as stubborn, funny, melodramatic, naive, vulnerable and feisty. The contradictions in her character are what give her anecdotes their punch. Self-confidant enough as a starstruck teenager to hang around ...more
Jennifer S
I was hooked on this book from the first paragraph of this book, "When I was a little girl, I was so girlie and ambitious, I was practically a drag queen...I spent inordinate amounts of time waltzing around our living room with a doily on my head, imagining in great detail my promenade down the runway as the new Miss America, during which time I would also happen to receive a Nobel Prize for coloring." until the the very last page.

This memoir takes you through the life of Susan Jane Gilman (who
"Somehow, my five-year-old brain had grasped the ideas the '-ess' was the culmination of all things feminine and highly desirable. It was a suffix that separated the girls from the boys in the best of all possible ways. Princess, goddess, actress, countess. What was there not to love?... '-Ess' made any profession sound glamorous. A laundress, a sorceress, an adulteress. To this day, I'm convinced that, if someone had only been enterprising enough to call female MDs 'doctoresses' and female scie ...more
A story about a woman who's parents divorced later in life. I really related since my parents got divorced after being married for more than 30 years. She writes really well with a lot of humor. Good for anyone who's parents are divorced.

My favorite part of the whole book is when she finds out her parents are getting divorced.
"By waiting until we were grown, our parents had spared us a serial nightmare: the custody battles, the court appearances, the anxiety over whether child support and alimo
Aug 11, 2008 Brittany rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Fans of Chuck Klosterman
Recommended to Brittany by: Sarah
How I Came To Read This Book: My friend Sarah lent me this book - I believe she randomly picked it up at a book sale.

The Plot: The book is a memoir, very similar to Chuck Klosterman's Sex, Drugs & Cocoa Puffs, in that Gilman writes essays on various aspects of her life, culture, and thoughts. Gilman's stories are generally more autobiographical, while Klosterman's are more external/focused on pop culture dissection. The most interesting chapters were probably those on her summer job, obsessi
After reading Susan Gilman's latest memoir, Undress Me in the Temple of Heaven, I wanted to read all of her other memoirs. So I am reading them backwards, and it does provide an interesting way to read an author's memoirs. In Undress Me in the Temple of Heaven, Susan's parents are sort of an absent but loving and normal mother and father. But in her second Memoir, they are far from normal, but still loving.

Susan provides a funny point of view of growing up during the same time I grew up, but not
Liz Wright
I don’t get to do much “leisure reading,” but I’m a sucker for a great cover. When I saw the little blond scowling girl dressed in a tutu, tiara, fairy wings, striped stockings, and combat boots (and of course carrying a “magic” star wand) I smiled and was intrigued. Since I felt the same way after I read a page, I got it out of the library.
The best thing I noticed was Gilman’s writing style – it’s very conversational while still using “big” words and sophisticated phrasing (with the occasional
This book was a hoot! Gilman has a great sense of timing and some truly funny stories. The 70s and 80s turn out to be long enough ago to be "an era" with distinctive weirdnesses.

The chapters on her childhood and teenage years are strongest. Though I loved this, I might not read her books because they're about grown-ups.

Weird experience: I grabbed this book b/c I was weeding the biography section -- but Gilman's life experiences were so familiar to me that I was hoping for a photo of her -- sure
I actually picked this book up at Target on a whim one day, bored and wanting something new to read, positive I would regret it just from the title. I have never been happier. This book is funny. I loaned it to my mother a few weeks ago and I could hear her snickering to herself on the other side of the wall when she was reading at night. "Which part, which part?" I would shout, and she in turn would have to reply, "Oh, the Maharishi Christmas party" or "oh, the David's Bridal part" or "oh, the ...more
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Is this book good? 5 53 Jan 24, 2013 08:34AM  
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Susan Jane Gilman’s new novel, “The Ice Cream Queen of Orchard Street,” will be debuting in June 2014. She is also the bestselling author of three nonfiction books “Hypocrite in a Pouffy White Dress,” “Undress me in the Temple of Heaven,” and “Kiss My Tiara” and provides occasional commentary for National Public Radio. She has an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Michigan, and has wri ...more
More about Susan Jane Gilman...
Undress Me in the Temple of Heaven The Ice Cream Queen of Orchard Street Kiss My Tiara: How to Rule the World as a SmartMouth Goddess The Ice Cream Queen of Orchard Street Free Preview (The First 3 Chapters): A Novel Ragazze non troppo perbene - Se vuoi una cosa, prendila!

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