Last year when I attended the London Book Fair I had the pleasure of listening to an interview with Caitlin Moran, the author of How To Be a Woman. Before the interview started, a young woman sat down next to me and asked me if I was familiar with Moran. I had to confess that I was not. She said, “Oh, she’s hilarious. She’s the reason I came today.”
Moran did not disappoint. As it turns out, I found her to be comical and insightful. According to Moran, after a night at the pub, where she and her cohorts bemoaned the sad state of feminism, she decided to write a book about feminism. Five months later How To Be a Woman existed. I have to give it to her. Usually when I leave the pub I head home, drink some water, and hope I don’t have a headache in the morning. Maybe I should hang out with her and see if I get inspired.
I found her to be so entertaining I decided to pick up her book. Six months later I finally read it. I know, not as impressive. Her book is a memoir and starts off when she’s thirteen. For those who don’t like to be shocked, I wouldn’t suggest this book. For those who like a person with a sense of humor and who can still make relevant points, then this may be your thing. Personally, I laughed out loud on many occasions. Moran writes about many female subjects. To give you a feel, here are some of the chapter headings:
I Start Bleeding!
I Become Furry!
I Don’t Know What to Call My Breasts!
I Need A Bra!
I Go Lap-dancing!
I Get Married!
Moran doesn’t hold back in her memoir and shares not only funny moments in her life, but painful ones as well. She discusses being fat, marriage, having children, having an abortion, Brazilians, shoes, fashion, and many other topics. Her book made me laugh, cringe, and ponder the decisions women have to make in life. All of it isn’t serious, but all of it comes together brilliantly.
To be honest, when I finished the book I wasn’t sure that she came up with an answer of how to be a woman. However, I’m not sure that was her intention either. What she did present was an honest account of what life has been like for her as a woman. Let’s face it, all of us are different. While I didn’t relate to everything in the book, I appreciated her opinions and insights, even when I disagreed with her. And I agree with her point that all of us should do our best to get along and support each other. Can’t we all just get along people.
Caitlin Moran (her full name is Catherine Elizabeth Moran) is a British writer, TV critic, and columnist at The Times. She has seven siblings and was home-schooled in Wolverhampton. When she was thirteen she read a novel that had a character named ‘Caitlin’. Moran liked the name and started going by that. However, she pronounces it ‘Catlin’. In 2011, How To Be a Woman won the Galaxy National Book Award.