Bad Behavior by Mary Gaitskill – A trade paperback reissue of National Book Award finalist Mary Gaitskill’s debut collection, Bad Behavior—powerful stories. This collection of nine stories by Avery Hopwood Award-winner Gaitskill marks the debut of a promising and provocative new voice. These are tales of sexual. Mary Gaitskill (born November 11, ) is an American novelist, essayist, and short story Gaitskill attempted to find a publisher for four years before her first book, the short story collection Bad Behavior, was published in The first four.

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She veered between extravagant outbursts of opinion and sudden, uncertain halts, during which she seemed to look at him for approval. Perhaps I’d badd gone too far into ‘Gaitskill World’ by that point to take the change of pace. Lists with This Book.

Actually, I love them more. Win a Lit Hub tote bag!

BAD BEHAVIOR: Stories by Mary Gaitskill | Kirkus Reviews

Loud enough that anyone sitting within a couple of tables of her would have no choice but to notice that she just made an ‘offhand’ comment about how sometimes she likes to get smacked while getting fucked in the ass. A lot of realist writing, especially of short stories, in the ’80s fell in to a trap of capturing small moments in economic prose, trusting that the economy of language and the quaintness of scene pack a wallop of emotion–a kind of Hemingway-ian philosophy, I think.

Thus, I have never hate-read an actual book, until this one. They separated in Sep 02, Greg rated it liked it Shelves: I like being inside of Virginia’s weird consciousness, and how much feeling the author can wring out of writing about a character who does not in fact feel every little bump in the road. But I’m unlucky enough to be reading Alice Munro at the same time, which really isn’t fair to anyone else; Munro makes everyone look bad.


Any woman that shows up to read an excerpt from one of her books, braless, is dying for attention.

Bad Behavior – Mary Gaitskill – Google Books

This sentence, a perfect and perfectly horrible one, could appear in almost any of these stories. Goodreads helps you keep track of books behavipr want to read. These are not experiences I have ever seen portrayed in literature, and I found their representation here refreshing and identifiable.

I have always preferred the novel over short stories. How do fingers and hands gaitsklll an exposed, strangely cold and receptive quality? Nov 17, Ben Loory rated it it was amazing. Retrieved February 2, In the movie, the two characters succeed, in the short story they don’t which keeps in tune with the rest of the stories in the collection.

It also includes call girls, baitskill, people in adulterous affairs, and so on. By mry this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

I’ve started to regain my confidence, and I’m so glad I read this book. In “Trying to Be”, Stephanie becomes a prostitute out of contempt for boring office work. Several of the stories have themes of sexuality, romance, love, sex worksadomasochismdrug addiction, being a writer in New York City, and living in New York City.

The writing is so astute. As she was watching her clear the table and take the dishes to the kitchen, she could see the many aspects of her lover come forward and shyly recede with each movement; her rigid, stubborn arms, her strong shoulders positioned in a soft, demure curve, her stern chin, her luminous forehead, her odd way of stiffly holding back and gently, curiously moving forward – all spoke of her radial gradations of tenderness, sorrow and radiant, fanlike intelligence.

Other characters whose perspectives are featured include Paul Ginger’s husbandSilvia Velvet’s motherDante Velvet’s younger brotherand Beverly a horse trainer.

Her sense of the world, though she presented it aggressively, could be, he sensed, snatched out from under her with little or not trouble. The image became tiny and unnaturally white, was surrounded by darkness, then faded like the picture on a turned off TV. People who want to look naughty but not really be naughty. For these reasons I decided to step outside of my admittedly narrow comfort zone, and give this a try. It’s truly about bad behavior and in that, mostly about sex or prostitution of sorts, and I don’t relate to the behavior per se, or more the situations, but I relate to these women mostly.


I never acted vulnerable around her. I’m not sure if the end of the book was better or if, by reading through the beginning, I began to connect better with Gaitskill’s style.


I too could be taken seriously, I thought. There’s a sentence or a paragraph in each essay that just nails it for me.

I love the ambiguous characters. Take for instance the closing moments of the ultimate story in Bad Behavior where Gaitskill paints the image of what’s left jary the family sitting down to dinner of steak and pasta, where the patriarch remarks that this is “just like heaven.

This is a very sensuous story, as Virginia’s mode of taking in the world is primarily sensuous and aesthetic: The film Secretary is based on the short story of the same name in Bad Behavioralthough the two have little in common.

Jul 05, Janice rated it did not like it Shelves: This collection of short stories was well-written, incredibly so, but the content and the lack of “there” there, the emptiness of it all, was disconcerting to me.

I know I probably sound like a lunatic, and maybe I am. Nov 11, Erin Rouleau rated it it was amazing. I really enjoyed the story “Trying To Be” for purely selfish reasons, and the final story, “Heaven,” was the most ambitious and possibly the best.

Something else I want to point out: