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The Fictional Woman

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  1,121 ratings  ·  171 reviews
The no.1 bestselling non-fiction hit! Tara Moss's first work of non-fiction - a fascinating mix of memoir and social comment - is sparking conversation all over the country. What are your fictions?

Tara Moss has worn many labels in her time, including 'author', 'model', 'gold-digger', 'commentator', 'inspiration', 'dumb blonde', 'feminist' and 'mother', among many others. N
Kindle Edition, 310 pages
Published June 1st 2014 by HarperCollins (first published May 19th 2014)
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 ·  1,121 ratings  ·  171 reviews

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Dec 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have a question for you. Do you label women in your everyday life? I think it is safe to say that all of us have done such a thing on numerous occasions throughout our lives. Why this happens and what sought of effects it has on women and society as a whole is looked at in great depth by someone who has worn many such labels in her life. The Fictional Woman is part memoir, part social commentary as Moss draws on her own life experiences and packs some all mighty punches in the process.

Right fr
Mar 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: on-my-bookshelf
Well written, well articulated and brilliantly narrated by Tara Moss. The tone and the non preachy way Tara delivered this message managed to open my eyes to the fact that as a society we still have work to do. Anyone who believes that women are equal and have the same rights as men in today’s society need to read this book! Seriously give this book as a gift to the men in your life, your female friends and your daughters your sons and anyone who doesn’t believe we should still be fighting the f ...more
John Purcell
May 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
The Fictional Woman is much more than a memoir, Tara takes on the many issues facing women today. From equality in the workplace to motherhood, from the place of advertising in our lives today to the way we tell each other stories, this is a book which needs to be read by men and women. Well written, clearly argued, informative, powerful and thought provoking. Forget everything you thought you knew about Tara Moss, with The Fictional Woman, Tara sets the record straight and takes her place as on ...more
Jul 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
4 Stars

In The Fictional Woman Tara Moss combines her personal memoir with an impressive social commentary on perceptions of modern women in society.

Moss expressed many touching and personal experiences from her own life, while also analysing and sharing many well researched facts and figures relating to everything from body image, motherhood and sexual assault, to the roles and value of women in entertainment, media and politics, as well as many keen observations of women in society, all in an a
Jun 03, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Tara Moss is probably best known as a person you hate; she seems to succeed in everything she puts her mind to. Starting her career early at 14 as a model, she always dreamed about being a writer. People don't encourage others to be writers but they do tell girls that they should be a model. Eventually she did and it took her around the world and taught her so much; the experiences may not have been all good but it helped shape her life. Eventually she did start writing and her Makedde Vanderwal ...more
Karen Brooks
One of the most thoughtful and erudite books on the female experience I have read in a long time. Rather than being exclusive or looking to apportion blame, Moss tackles the sometimes divisive subject of feminism and females through inclusivity and such a depth of understanding of culture, society and the various forces that shape us all.
Part memoir, part treatise on the way women are labelled and stereotyped and then read accordingly (and men as well), Moss patiently and cleverly deconstructs
Carolyn Francis
May 31, 2014 rated it liked it
Please note, Tara Moss can write. Somehow, despite the 9 best-selling novels she has penned in 15 years, this fact will still provoke surprise from People Everywhere who cling to the conviction that supermodels and writers are separate species. The Fictional Woman is a compelling and important book. Some will feel the need to point out that she is not covering any new ground in her social commentary and analysis of contemporary gender relations. Of course, that is hardly the point. This is both ...more
Wiebke (1book1review)
Sep 13, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks
I really enjoyed listening to this. It was very interesting to hear about her experiences and life but also about the facts and statistics. The way she talked about women in media and how we see them and what story we tell about them was very interesting. I can only recommend it if you are interested in this topic.
Ben Payne
Aug 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is a really well written book about feminism. The early chapters deal with Tara Moss's own life, and her own experiences with sexism, assault, and her career as a model and crime writer. These chapters are among the most powerful in the book. The rest of the book is a very well argued rundown of sexism and prejudice in contemporary society. It covers a lot of the bases that commonly come up in arguments. I'd recommend it as a good book to give somebody who is looking for a "Feminism 101" pr ...more
Kate Belle
A must read for every man and woman who believes in fairness and equality. We must rewrite the stories we tell ourselves about who women are. They limit us so deeply, they affect our relationships and our potential to live true to ourselves.

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This is what I have attempted to do with my character Jade in Being Jade. She us confronting because she doesn't toe the social or cultural line expected of women. These challenging character
It was hard not to compare this to The Wife Drought after reading these in quick succession. Unlike Annabel Crabb, who managed to bring new veins of thinking in feminist thought with tight writing, warmth and wit, Moss seems continually focussed on reaffirming her credentials as a successful crime writer, even though she was once a model. Does she really earn extra points because she allowed herself to be choked to unconsciousness as research for her crime book? I think her constant attempts to ...more
S.K. Munt
Every woman needs to read this book. Actually no… everyONE needs to read this book."/>

This has been one of the most educational, exciting reads of the year for me, and I have to preface this review by saying that Tara Moss is an incredibly brave, concise woman whose voice needs to be heard.

I am target-audience number #1 for this particular book. Not only am I wife and mother of three girls that I need to set an example for, but I was raised by a single mother who was screwed over by 3 husbands,
Terese Stockdale
May 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely loved this book. Tara is a good story teller and had me in tears at the first chapter telling all about her childhood and what lead her to modelling. Where was this book when I was a teenager? It may have very well saved (or warned me of what the big wide world has to offer). Very wise indeed. What does Tara Moss's experiences have in common with every woman in Australia? Well, firstly 1 in 3 women experience sexual violence. Inclusively miscarriages are very common but both are com ...more
Julie Haydon
This is a brilliant book. Tara Moss discusses and exposes the common fictions about women, the labels, the archetypes, the out-of-date assumptions that so often prevent women from reaching their full potential. Woven through the facts, observations, arguments and quotes are stories from Tara Moss's life, which pack a punch. She comes across as intelligent, courageous, logical and, at times, funny (the first sentence on p.286 made me laugh out loud). I hope this book creates a dialogue in the gre ...more
Kim Wilkins
Jul 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book reads beautifully. Moss uses her own autobiography as a jumping-off point to think through a range of issues about women, feminism, and gender. Her command of the field is evident, but Moss really shines when she offers her own fresh perspectives on beauty, selfies, photoshop, and women in the public eye. A smart, sophisticated, yet accessible book. Loved it.
Sep 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Articulate, thought provoking and a very accessible and enjoyable read. Moss uses her own personal experiences as the starting point to look at many of the issues regarding women, gender roles and feminism. One of those books that makes you want to pass it on to everyone you know saying "you need to read this"
Jun 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own
This book was a complete impulse purchase to make up the remaining credit on a gift card I had with me - and boy was I glad I grabbed it. I am unfamiliar with Moss's other works, but the idea that the truthfulness of her being a writer had been questioned merely because she was a model and conventionally attractive was enough for me to pick it up and give a skim through. After finishing the book today, I am thoroughly impressed with the eloquence in which Moss expresses her understanding of soci ...more
Dani Ringrose
I am a Tara Moss convert. A bit late as a convert, because up until her appearance on Q&A, I too had categorised her as an "ex-model who dabbled in crime fiction". I had to put my attitudes in check after hearing her speak, after she made me a bit more thoughtful about how quick I can be to judge some women. The current resurgence of feminism tackling the small but cumulative issues that affect women - especially online - fires me up, and Tara has certainly fueled those flames for me. And after ...more
L.E. Truscott
Nov 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is one of the most powerful books I have ever read and should be required reading for everyone - women, men, teenagers, school students, people of all ages, Fox News commentators, especially Fox News commentators, everyone.

The more I read of this book, the more angry I got. Not because the author was telling me anything I didn't already know, but because having it all spelled out so clearly (and so eloquently) in one place made it almost overwhelming. In some ways, we have achieved so much
Deb Bodinnar
Jun 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
This one took me longer than normal to read for a couple of reasons. I went back over some it to really get the full benefit of Taras writing, not because it wasn't written well, it most certainly is, but to rethink a lot of points she made. The other reason more of a personal one, mind was on some trouble my own Mum is having at the moment with her memory, so putting what Tara was telling us about the "things" ( for want of a better word) we as women of all ages go through was probably hitting ...more
Holly Dunn
I was expecting this to be more of a memoir, but a lot of it was on feminism and wider feminist issues, Moss using personal examples throughout. This is most certainly not a criticism, as I am a great lover of feminist non-fiction that focuses on first-hand experience. While most of the arguments weren't new to me, it is always interesting to see different takes on so-called 'women's issues.' Obviously Moss speaks from a place of privilege, and her books is skewed towards the straight, white, mi ...more
Lizz Sayers
I enjoyed this book and thought Tara made some interesting points on gender inequality. I particularly liked the mother chapter which revealed some startling facts about how women's bodies and the choices they make regarding pregnancy, birth and motherhood are still dictated by the law (men) in many countries that make abortion and even miscarriage illegal. I recommend this book to anyone that has a negative view of feminism as this book reminds us all what the essence of this movement really is ...more
Dec 06, 2014 rated it really liked it
This book should be read by all young females (Australians) who think they have it all and take for granted what they do have in terms of equal opportunities. Moss illustrates so well that things have not changed that much in the land of Aus over the last few decades. Yes we women are supposedly equal to our male partners but the statistics still prove otherwise.
Part biography, part social commentary - it is simply written but full of classic up-to-date examples of the plight of women in Austra
Hey so is actually excellent. Tara Moss includes some memoir-ish stuff but I like that it can also be seen as a series of essays on socio-political issues that are insightful and well reasoned. I listened to the audiobook - the author's narration is expressive and enjoyable. But I'd be tempted to get a hard copy just to highlight quotes and stats as references!
Jun 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A really clever exploration of the way women are pidgeon-holed throughout their lives, and how this is used to hold them back. Loved it, was an interesting and easy to read book with a powerful message.
May 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Eloquent, educational, inspiring, a must read for everyone!
Jun 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Sep 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
If you care about a woman or girl, then I can highly recommend this book. The writing is accessible and clear, the issues of extreme importance, and ending provides a stirring call to arms.
Aug 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A brilliant, thoroughly well researched, heart-breaking, hilariously depressing and eloquent book that everyone (yes, everyone ) ought to read, please and thank you !
Emily Wrayburn
Review originally posted on A Keyboard and an Open Mind 08 July 2016

I had been thinking for a while now that I really should be including a bit more non-fiction in my reading, and when I saw Tara Moss’ memoir available through my digital lending library, it seemed like a good place to start. It was a blog post written by Moss on the gender bias in book reviewing in Australia that gave rise to the Australian Women Writer’s Challenge, so even when I was getting a little bored with some of the cont
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Tara Moss is an international bestselling author, documentary host and and human rights advocate. She is the author of 13 books, published in 19 countries and 13 languages, including the Mak Vanderwall crime fiction series, the Pandora English paranormal YA series and her latest, the internationally bestselling historical thriller The War Widow, set in 1946 and featuring '‘staunchly feminist, cham ...more

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“Our sex need not primarily define who we are, what we are capable of, or what we can be expected to enjoy or engage in. In other words, the boy with the Barbie doll does not have a problem with identity. He simply has a Barbie doll. The full-time working mother and full-time stay-at-home father have not given up something essential to their identities by taking on those roles: they have negotiated their lives as it works for them. Likewise, a stay-at-home mum is not anti-feminist any more than a stay-at-home dad is. Other characteristics, such as individual ability, personal relationships, personal choice, past experience and education, are far more important than that box you tick defining yourself as M or F.” 4 likes
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