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Bearded Lady (Kindle Single) [Kindle Edition]

Mara Altman
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (193 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $1.99
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Kindle Singles
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Book Description

Mara Altman, author of the bestselling Kindle Single "Sparkle," returns to top comic form to address the problem every woman faces but no woman wants to acknowledge: facial and body hair. Her brave, witty memoir gives readers a rare, honest glimpse into the hidden world of lasers and razors. It begins in childhood, when Altman discovers that hair sometimes grows in unexpected places -- and that it's best to remove it immediately, or risk ridicule from 8th-grade girls. It continues into early adulthood, when romantically-inclined men make offhand remarks about her fine coating of fur. From there it's a hilarious, heartfelt journey from Barcelona to Bangkok in search of a cure, an explanation, and the perfect pair of tweezers.

After graduating from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, Mara Altman worked as a staff writer for The Village Voice until 2007. In 2009, HarperCollins published Altman's first book, Thanks For Coming: A Young Woman's Quest for an Orgasm, which was optioned as a comedy series by HBO. She has also written for New York Magazine and The New York Times.

Cover design by Adil Dara Kim. Cover photograph by Christopher Lane.

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Editorial Reviews Review

"Under the withering California sun, they wouldn't stop making a spectacle of themselves." There begins Mara Altman's comic odyssey to understand and eradicate the hair that won't stop growing on various, unexpected parts of her body--there, there, there, and yes, even there. There isn't a woman alive who won't identify with Altman and her plight. With uproarious self-deprecation and charming wit, the former Village Voice staff writer takes us from puberty to the present in a brave personal narrative that balances reporting and revelation. Not since Nora Ephron's classic A Few Words About Breasts has a writer been so achingly honest--or hilarious--about the cruel tricks nature can play on the female body.--Simone Gorrindo

About the Author

After graduating from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, Mara Altman worked as a staff writer for The Village Voice until 2007. In 2009, HarperCollins published Altman's first book, Thanks For Coming: A Young Woman's Quest for an Orgasm, which was optioned as a comedy series by HBO. She has also written for New York Magazine and The New York Times.

Product Details

  • File Size: 116 KB
  • Print Length: 46 pages
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B007II00XE
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,939 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
42 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply put - Brilliant. March 9, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Mara Altman's latest is probably the funniest thing I've read since...Sparkle. I literally laughed out loud alone in my apartment from start to finish. This is exactly what every woman wishes she could say but is entirely too terrified to do it. She's even more honest in her writing than I am in my own head. She dares to do what none of us will and it's bold, to say the least. If you're a woman, if you have hair, if you're just looking to laugh yourself to sleep, please don't miss out on this. It's brilliant.
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33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "hairy-go-lucky" March 9, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
For women, there is a quest to be hairless and fuzz free, smooth and beautiful, but some of us just have it harder than others. The author is coming clean here, confessing to her soon-to-be husband (and to us) that she is more than she appears; she is a bearded lady in disguise. She even discloses the little happy trail and the nipple hair dilemma, and I had a good laugh at that.

As a woman who unfortunately also has an absurd amount of body hair herself, I found great humor and sympathy in this kindle single. I laughed and I identified way too much with Altman's struggle. I was feeling her pain. Her story is very personal and funny and bold. And what I see most of all in this memoir is a camaraderie among women, that laugh at you and at me, as we see and recognize a piece of ourselves and our own hapless vanity.

I was amazed at her bravery and gutsy honesty. Altman just let it all out, the truth in all its natural and hairy glory for everyone to see, and I appreciated that. The writing here is kind of tongue in cheek but still sharp. Even as certain details are painfully embarrassing, there is still an almost gentle, have-a-laugh-at-my-expense humor to the piece. Smart and funny writing with a drollness to it, this kindle single is very enjoyable, and I couldn't help but see myself in it.

Note: 780 kindle locations, and there is some adult language within.
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33 of 36 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Bearded Lady, Funny but NOT at the same time. March 25, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I bought this book based on reviews that its funny. I wanted to read a comic book as a break. Don't get be wrong, she starts with humor narrating her experiences, trauma, and struggle of every women, the unwanted body hairs. But then, she deviates from her personal narration of her experiences to interviews. She gets into peoples opinion why is it ok or not ok to remove hairs and tries to get into history of hair removal etc. At this point when she starts interviewing, the book becomes boring, shallow and just an opinionated view of various people from beauty editors to academic professors. The book loses its humor and becomes a drag. Had she stayed and elaborated her personal experiences, the book would have been much better. The interviews and loose research on history of hair loses its charm. I gave her 3 stars because her narration at the beginning is so at ease to follow. As a audience I don't lose her as a story teller. She speaks to me directly at the beginning in funny ways but then she loses it midway and becomes boring towards the end.

I finished the book from start to finish in less than 2 hours on a Sunday afternoon. It is a short read.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Freeing! March 9, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Mara has a way of turning our painful secrets into hilarious truths! Even the hairs on my chiny, chin, chin enjoyed this journey.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a point March 10, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
This extended essay (it's too short to be called a book) is one of the most personally meaningful, empowering things I've ever read. Please don't ask me why. It's embarrassing to say.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hilarious Book December 19, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
I may be one of the few guys that have read this book, but the good reviews and interesting topic (not to mention quick read) lured me in to want to check it out. And I'm glad I did. The author is hilarious and I found that I greatly enjoyed this short book. First off, I know what it is like to be hairy, but do not have the opposite experience of being a woman and the social pressures of being clean shaven everywhere all of the time. My wife is not a hairy woman, but one consequence of my genetics is that my daughters are all fairly hairy at a young age, and this book may have been a glimpse of what is to come for each of them. Overall, this is a thoroughly enjoyable book.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Funny March 10, 2012
By Doris
Format:Kindle Edition
I had not heard of Mara Altman until I was browsing for funny books on my kindle. This book was awesome. Honest and realistic. I kept getting funny looks from my boyfriend when I would start to giggle. When I burst out laughing several times I think he thought I'd lost my mind. If you need a good laugh read this book! Loved the research and interesting facts Altman included. Radiation for hair removal. Really? Crazy!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A short book about hairy situations March 23, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
As someone who is pro-hair, I was intrigued by this book and curious to see where the author would take it. She takes a good look at the history of hair and why exactly it is women feel compelled to shave. It's something that not a lot of us stop to think about and simply just "do".

I didn't find the book quite as funny as others did. It had its moments, but I was more intrigued by the author's struggle on whether to shave or not to shave and how she deals with the acceptance of her body hair. The underlying message of this book is that women tend to be self-conscious know what matter they do.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars not really a book.
I think the writer here has sooo much more potential than she allows herself. She is extremely funny, and witty, along the lines of Mindy Kaling or Jenny Lawson. Read more
Published 2 days ago by F. Zawaydeh
5.0 out of 5 stars great read, fun and absorbing
Mara has a great writing style that makes you laugh but also eases you into thorny subjects to the point that you feel comfortable living in that awkward private world we all know.
Published 25 days ago by Matthew Altman
5.0 out of 5 stars Hysterical
I think she wrote about me! I love a book where I can laugh out loud....this delivers! I re-read just for fun & laughs.
Published 28 days ago by W. Switzer
5.0 out of 5 stars Easy Read
This was a fun and quirky single. I was able to read it during a flight from CA to Atlanta with plenty of time to spare. Read more
Published 1 month ago by sherengland
4.0 out of 5 stars Kinda Cute
This book was great for a light read. The author has a story that is completely relatable. At least for me. Add in a few laugh out loud moments and rates about 4 stars with me.
Published 1 month ago by Amanda G Morgan
3.0 out of 5 stars Okay
It was okay. After a while I got tired of reading about how obsessed she was with herself and it got less funny the more I read. Booo
Published 1 month ago by kl88
5.0 out of 5 stars Love this book!
Hilarious and completely relatable. A must read for any woman who has ever felt like she has hair where there shouldn't be.
Published 1 month ago by Aryanne Macfarlan
4.0 out of 5 stars Well done
Though this "mini" is written around the subject of unwanted has a great message about coming to terms with one's physical flaws and gaining a proper perspective... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Miss Deb
5.0 out of 5 stars Love/ Funny
Loved this short its funny also would recommend to anyone will brighten up your day!Hope this turns into a short series I love shorts
Published 1 month ago by Nicole20
5.0 out of 5 stars love it
I loved this book. SO true. Never even heard straight talk like this with best friends! I laughed and laughed.
Published 1 month ago by Aud
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More About the Author

Mara Altman writes about issues that embarrass her (i.e. chin hair), because she has found that putting shame on the page diffuses the stigma, leaving her with a sense of empowerment and freedom.

Over time, Mara has become progressively fearful of airplane flights, but less concerned with getting fat (in the Spring of 2010, she started to eat bacon). She feels most inspired when walking across bridges and lives the perpetual Catch-22 of not being able to go to sleep without first drinking a glass of water, but then having to get up to pee at 3 a.m. She reminds herself that things could always be worse. Then she's stuck thinking about all the bad things that could happen. And then she can't get back to sleep.

Mara has published two best-selling Kindle Singles. Thanks for Coming, her first book, which follows her on an adventure to find her orgasm, was translated into three languages - German, Spanish and Portuguese. The book was also optioned by HBO. Before going freelance, she worked at daily newspapers both in India and Thailand and was a staff writer for the Village Voice. She is currently dabbling in stand-up comedy. You can see a recent set here:

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