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All the Pretty People: Tales of Carob, Shame, and Barbie-Envy

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Told through an authentic voice, the flash-memoir stories in this book bring out all of the dirt on the 1970s suburban hippies that author Ariel Gore used to know in California—the pretty people she wanted to be but never quite felt she was. At times heartrending and heartwarming, it’s a queer love story with no shortage of shame, violence, and Barbie envy.

144 pages, Paperback

First published May 1, 2011

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About the author

Ariel Gore

35 books313 followers
ARIEL GORE is the author of We Were Witches (The Feminist Press, 2017), The End of Eve (Hawthorne Books, 2014), and numerous other books on parenting, the novel The Traveling Death and Resurrection Show, the memoir Atlas of the Human Heart, and the writer’s guide How to Become a Famous Writer Before You’re Dead. Farrar, Straus and Giroux will publish Bluebird: Women and the New Psychology of Happiness in January 2010.

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5 stars
20 (38%)
4 stars
22 (42%)
3 stars
10 (19%)
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Displaying 1 - 8 of 8 reviews
Profile Image for Susan DeFreitas.
Author 4 books68 followers
February 4, 2019
What a lovely little book this is, composed of adept vignettes that truly add up to something bigger. For anyone born in the late 70s, I think--especially for the alterna-kids of the left--there's such a sense here of feeling heard and seen, in all the ways we tried and failed to fit in, and in all the ways we forged our own identities in the absence of traditional parenting. There's so much beauty in these pages, and so much truth.
Profile Image for MariNaomi.
Author 34 books413 followers
May 26, 2011
Ariel Gore's memoir, Atlas of the Human Heart, is one of my favorite books ever, and this book complements it perfectly. Lots of brief glimpses into the life of young Ariel--funny, sad, sweet. Love it.
Profile Image for Carolee Wheeler.
Author 8 books43 followers
February 27, 2012
I found this at Quimby's in Chicago. I'd buy anything Ariel Gore writes (as long as it isn't baby-centric).
Profile Image for Alina Supino.
14 reviews
August 14, 2023
ariel's books create a safe space :) i always know i'll enjoy them :) they share a unique cozy feeling, of authenticity and feeling accepted as one is
Profile Image for Star.
60 reviews17 followers
August 19, 2013
This is a collection of short essays about childhood into young womanhood, or as Ariel says "This is a book about all the pretty people I used to know in California." In it, she captures what it's like to have an eccentrically exotic mother who marries a priest and a father who's mental state is quickly unraveling, in spite of his stable, respectable, cocktails at 5 'o clock family. While she bounces back and forth between these two worlds trying to make some sense of it all, she nails the voice of the innocent child with just enough sass and keen observational skills to let you know she's going to make it. This is a super quick read with illustrations, post cards and letters interspersed along the way. I was sad to have it come to an end but happy to be along for the ride.
Profile Image for anne.
49 reviews
September 7, 2011
loved it so completely. brilliant glimpses of gore's california childhood.
Profile Image for Rebecca.
Author 3 books17 followers
September 22, 2012
I love Ariel Gore's work. She's funny and can reveal the awkward discomfort of being human so well. This one is a collection of brief vignettes from childhood with illustrations.
Displaying 1 - 8 of 8 reviews

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