Ciara's Reviews > Without a Net: The Female Experience of Growing Up Working Class

Without a Net by Michelle Tea
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's review
Nov 29, 08

bookshelves: read-in-2006, autobio-memoir, feminist-y-books
Recommended for: smug liberal middle class jerks, a good editor
Read in March, 2006, read count: once

i had big hopes for this book, but i thought it was kind of a letdown. i mean, the female experience of growing up working class? dude, that's me! i was so hoping to see my experiences reflected through brilliant prose. & although in some ways, i saw my own experience reflected in some of these essays, i thought the construction of the book was a little weak. i'm sure you will be shocked to hear, in light of my high esteem for michelle tea (*cough*), that i thought the editing was problematic. i got the sense that there was more curating than editing going on, which is too bad, because some of these peeps needed an editor. c'mon, ladies! it doesn't shore up your working-class cred to be a crummy writer. you can grow up poor & still know how to construct a sentence. it's called a rough draft & you don't go to print with it. i felt with many of these stories that the writer was trying to elicit sympathy of guilt from the reader, playing the whole "i had it worse than you" game, & that really annoyed me. i find that shit obnoxious. i don't know, i just didn't think that the issue of growing up female &/or working class was drawn out in a sophisticated way. i walked away from the book thinking, "tell me something i don't already know." & that made me feel that the book was for middle-class tourists who wondered what the working class experience was like--NOT for me. & that pissed me off.
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