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Tiny Ladies in Shiny Pants: Based on a True Story

3.52  ·  Rating details ·  682 ratings  ·  102 reviews
From the creator and director of Transparent and Emmy nominated writer for Six Feet Under comes a hilarious and unforgettable memoir.

When Jill Soloway was just thirteen, she and her best friend donned the tightest satin pants they could find, poufed up their hair and squeezed into Candies heels, then headed to downtown Chicago in search of their one-and-only true loves for
Paperback, 272 pages
Published October 17th 2006 by Free Press (first published August 30th 2005)
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Average rating 3.52  · 
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Aug 15, 2017 marked it as will-probably-not-finish  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc
Yeah, I'm not gonna finish this. I made it about a quarter through and find it a) dated b) not funny and c) surprisingly unfeminist in its derivative dismissive feminist ideas.

I received an arc of this book curtesy of NetGalley and Ebury Publishing in exchange for an honest review. Thanks for that.
Jun 13, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2013, audiobooks, memoir
I'm not entirely sure why I read this book. First, I thought it was new, but quickly figured out it was written in 2006 when she referred to, like, He's Just Not that Into You as a "hot" book and didn't say anything about Fifty Shades of Grey. Plus, I recognized her name from those two weeks I spent watching all 60 episodes of Six Feet Under (and god help her if she is responsible for any of that interminable stretch of third season episodes where Lisa is missing and Nate wanders around asking " ...more
Grace Easton
Nov 08, 2018 rated it did not like it
When Soloway writes:

“I really did have a lot of anger towards Asian women. I felt they did white women a disservice. I despised the way they sylphed around in their tiny hairless bodies, turning up on the arms of the funniest Jewish guys who were my birthright. I called them girlcats, like they were a mixed breed somewhere between females and Siamese cats… They’re like Dick Candy. They really and truly look like they’ve preened and primed themselves to look as good as possible – at the end of s
Melissa Cavanaugh
Apr 29, 2008 rated it it was ok
Very funny in parts. She does best when she sticks to personal anecdotes, some of which are hilarious. She's a lot weaker in the parts that are intended to be, as she claims, her post-feminist manifesto - intellectually sloppy and very derivative. Reminds me of the half-baked ideas I would come up with when hungover in Sociology of Gender class as an undergrad. But I didn't put them in a book. ...more
Jul 26, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have three other books to review that I finished before this one but Jill must come first. I've talked about her before. Ms. Soloway is smart and challenging and crazy funny and this collection of essays -- a kind of autobiography -- was my best friend throughout my trip to New York. Tiny Ladies in Shiny Pants is more amusing to me than similar books in the genre like David Sidaris's Me Talk Pretty One Day (which I do really enjoy) or Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim (which I didn't fin ...more
Manon the Malicious
I was provided an ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

This started as a fast, fun read. It was easy to read, quirky and kind of funny. but as the book went on, some things started to annoy me: the use of “hoor” to describe other women, the very heteronormative everything, and when LGBT+ people were mentioned, people other than gay and lesbians were totally forgotten… The more it went on, the more things annoyed me, until the last pages where I reached this paragraph, that made me
May 09, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: memoir
Written by one of the writers of “Six Feet Under,” (my favourite show) I wanted to like this book. I didn’t. Jill Solloway makes many attempts to be funny and according to the back cover, a lot of people think she is, but not me.

I don’t know, maybe it’s because I’m not Jewish, so I don’t fully appreciate the Jewish jokes that grace every second sentence. Or, maybe it’s because I’m not a mother, so I don’t understand all the motherhood references. I don’t think it’s either though. I think the aut
Apr 05, 2008 rated it it was ok
Thought this was very uneven--parts were funny but a lot of it was just annoying. In a way, this is really two books and it would have been much better if it was split.
One half is a mix of witty autobiographical essays, heavily influenced by her Jewishness.
The other half is heavy-handed feminism. This is the part that really irritated me (which seems odd, since I'm usually so pro-feminism). The two just didn't quite mesh.
Expected to giggle much more and usually just managed a faint smile. Will p
Aug 05, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Possibly the worst book I have ever read. This woman should not be allowed near a pen and paper. Her humor is not funny but crass, insensitive, and completely offensive; racially, religiously, etc. She is a self-declared feminist who paints women as victims which is the opposite of what a true feminist would do. Found not only the book to be terrible but found the writer to be a horrible individual. WORST BOOK EVER and most pathetic excuse for feminist essays I've ever had the misfortune to read ...more
Apr 25, 2020 rated it it was ok
This is a weird time capsule of noughties white feminism. It's offensive and racist. I guess it shows how much growth a lot of people have done since it was first published. I am going to read Jill Soloway's more recent book now, I planned to read this for context...but don't necessarily recommend it. A couple of the chapters are great and it's not badly written it has dated poorly and is pre-intersectional feminism for sure. ...more
Jan 14, 2020 added it
The title is the best part of the book.
Bookish Jen
Oct 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Memoirs, fans of Jill Soloway
Upon her Sunday night triumph, I just had to dust off this review of Jill Solaway’s book Ladies in Shiny Pants from one of my now-defunct blogs. Enjoy!

Jill Soloway is a talented screenwriter, director, and TV show creator who has written for television shows like Six Feet Under, Grey’s Anatomy, The United States of Tara and most recently, the critically acclaimed Transparent. And this past Sunday, Soloway won a much-deserved Emmy for best director for directing an episode of Transparent.

Along wi
Giddy Girlie
May 02, 2008 rated it liked it
I didn't have any expectations going in to this book (I bought it for 50 cents from a thrift store), so I may have enjoyed it more than some of the other reviewers here. The writing is funny, if a little loopy. But I am loopy too, so that didn't bother me at all. The one thing that I wasn't expecting from this book, based on the title and the cover jacket is how much Jill Soloway is into the post-feminist movement. Her 3-part introduction pretty much lays it all out and I'll admit that by part 2 ...more
Noemi Proietti
Jul 08, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Jill Soloway is the writer behind the successful TV show Six Feet Under and the creator of the Amazon series Transparent and I Love Dick. This book is a collection of personal and autobiographical essays in which she opens up about herself, from her search for true love and the right man to her desire to have a baby and her role as a mother. She also writes about growing up in south Chicago where she and her sister were the only white and Jewish children among the black community to her thoughts ...more
Jul 14, 2008 rated it it was ok
Shelves: memoirs, feministy
Jill Soloway, who wrote for Six Feet Under, is obviously very compelling when creating characters for HBO shows. Although at times she's VERY funny in her memoir, at other times her humor falls flat. Let me compare: I would have read a David Sedaris book of this length in an afternoon. "Tiny Ladies" took me a week. There wasn't anything that grabbed me enough to keep me hooked beyond my general feelings of "gotta finish a book once you start." The reason this book is worth reading is that I have ...more
Jul 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I couldn't wait for Soloway's new book (She Wants It, October 2018), so I re-listened to the audiobook of Tiny Ladies in Shiny Pants as a stop-gap.

And, I liked it more than the first time around. I really appreciate when a writer is unashamedly honest, to the point of controversy. For a Hollywood darling, that's pretty refreshing.

When I initially listened in 2015, I think I felt a little offended by some of Soloway's 'tough love' advice to wannabe television writers. As a desperate wannabe tv w
Dec 08, 2007 rated it liked it
Shelves: college, 2007
A collection of essays by writer and producer of Six Feet Under, Jill Soloway, that crisscross from the highly personal, political, to the autrageously Los Angeleon. It is a combination of personal essay and memoir, or an evaluation of society, religion, sex, love and the author herself.

I liked this book for the most part. Many of the stories are hilarious, even when dealing with serious subject matter. I didn't agree with all the ideas in the essays, but I found her ideas fresh and fun.
Jan 04, 2018 rated it liked it
I wanted this to be funnier but think it was less so because it felt derivative - so many similar memoirs in the last few years - but then realized as a re-issue that this was written before those I was thinking of...and before Soloway adopted the non binary pronoun ‘they’.

So, it feels both less and more honest ... summer camp a la Lena Dunham (still not funny) and sharing my idea of an at the margins commune (and hello Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic of unowned ideas).

Worth a read for a few hour
Sep 22, 2007 rated it liked it
If there is one thing I could say about this book is that it is honest. Soloway doesn't seem to hide much from the reader, unapologetically revealing her addiction to celebrity gossip (for instance). She tells some funny stories from her own life but often digresses. The digressions are sometimes refreshing perspectives on feminism, victimization, the TV/movie industry, etc. ... but are also sometimes just annoying rants or half-baked social theories. ...more
Oct 29, 2007 rated it it was ok
I may be putting this one down soon. It's hilarious, but there's too much going on with the multiple introductions, the funny ha ha ha footnotes and the short stories with all their tangents and digressions. I'd love to be Jill Soloway's friend, I'd probably be laughing all the time. But while her observations are biting and spot-on, I'd rather read a book that takes me somewhere else. Maybe I just need fiction, not non. Or some excitement, a pageturner. Y'know? ...more
Mar 17, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: humor
This one was on my "to read" list forever, and I was so happy to come across a copy of it, especially after my friend Erin Clark spontaneously told me how much she enjoyed it. I want Jill Soloway to be my new best friend. She's so witty, and she's the perfect age, in that we share the same cultural experiences (I loved that she gets so tongue-tied when a neighbor of hers was on "The Real World"). I hope she writes more books....soon! ...more
Jul 14, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: writers and feminists
This book was great. One of the last parts of the book was like desert after dinner - it was her point-by-point personal advice in "getting into" the hollywood writer business. It was my favorite part, and I plan on reading it again and again as I slowly make my way into the world of writing. My favorite point: "STOP SMOKING POT!" ...I laughed and laughed. There were some points in the book that got a bit ostentatious, but over all - snarky lady, good memoir, funny book, smart ideas. ...more
Mare S
Sep 30, 2009 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book of essays by Jill Soloway. I loved the glimpses into her life and how it has turned her into the feminist that she is today. I love that it's filled with humor and quirkiness and an ability to take feminist theory and make it simple. The idea that all women shouldn't be afraid to be feminist and to care about sex and themselves without horrible labels and fears.

And okay, it's amusing. Written by someone who has a dark sense of humor that I tend to enjoy.
Jan 23, 2010 rated it really liked it
Funny and a quick read...I read it over two days of plane travel. I knodded alot and laughed out loud. About 60 pages from the end, she did start to grate on my nerves, a little bit. I felt like she was driving the same few messages down my throat a little. But at the same time, I still enjoyed it. The appendices didn't quite fit in with the rest of the book (but I guess that's why they're appendices, huh!). But yes, very funny, and a must-read for the ladies!! ...more
Dec 17, 2016 rated it liked it
This was pretty fun. It was written in 2002, before Jill Soloway became a fairly big name in entertainment for heading up Amazon's Transparent, and I'd be interested to hear how much she's changed since there. This book also made me realize I have no idea what racism looks like anymore -- I just naturally assume every comment about a person's physical appearance is racist and then wonder why it's allowed to be published. That was distracting. ...more
Nov 11, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Hysterical. If you ever have a chance to see Jill Soloway in person, go. She is one funny person. And so is this book. You'll not only have a good laugh, but Lotion Bag will become part of your vocabulary.

One of my favorite Six Feet Under episodes was written by Jill (Season 5: The Rainbow of Her Reasons). The same wit and poignancy present in her scripts come through in these essays.
Jan 22, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It’s funny reading this knowing Jill Soloway’s more recent work. I enjoyed this book - it was funny and the writing style is really approachable and effortless. Jill has a way with words. It got four stars just because I much much much pretty the work that Jill puts out today. This didn’t really do it for me, and definitely felt outdated
Melanie Springer Mock
Sep 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was a good find, on a list of funny memoirs written by women. I liked the author's irreverent humor and screwy view of the world, as well as her wit and her word play. These essays aren't going to break any new ground or change the world, but it was a fun read. ...more
Jodi Skeris
Mar 13, 2007 rated it really liked it
Mar 25, 2007 rated it really liked it
Funny collection of feminist short stories. Jill used to write for Six Feet Under, so you know you won't be disappointed. ...more
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JILL SOLOWAY is the Emmy and Golden Globe Award-winning creator of Transparent. Previously, they were a writer and executive producer for Six Feet Under, How to Make It in America, and United States of Tara. Their first feature film, Afternoon Delight, won the 2013 Directing Award at Sundance. They co-created and direct the new Amazon series I Love Dick. Jill lives in Los Angeles.

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Happy Women's History Month! One of the undisputedly good things about modern scholarship is that women’s history is finally getting its due....
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