Jenny Napolitano's Reviews > Bad Behavior

Bad Behavior by Mary Gaitskill
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May 17, 07

Recommended for: anyone who wants to remain my friend
Read in April, 2007

I know I'm late in coming around on the Mary Gaitskill bandwagon. But it's so much better to come late than to not come at all. (No pun intended.) I started reading this book having only read one of her stories before ("Secretary," obviously), but knowing that she dealt with the territory I've begun writing about lately. It was difficult, because I stopped writing the story I'd been working on for months after starting this - because I felt at the time I couldn't ever write a sweet/erotic/character-driven/masochistic story as well as she could. I've started to regain my confidence, and I'm so glad I read this book. Anyone who always finds themselves wondering how to write a short story with a mainstream structure while not writing mainstream content (white males in middle age reflecting on childhood, anyone?), read this book.

PS: My favorite stories in this collection are "A Romantic Weekend," "Something Nice," and "An Affair, Edited."
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