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Bitch Is the New Black: A Memoir Paperback – May 24, 2011


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial; Reprint edition (May 24, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061778842
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061778841
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.5 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (55 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,333,360 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

At 28 years old, having survived a tortured childhood raised by a peripatetic lesbian mother and a career as one of the few black writers for the New York Times and the only one for Politico.com, Andrews has surpassed the stereotype of the strong black woman and been deemed “perfect girl” by a boyfriend desperately trying not to commit. Andrews offers a caustic and humorous running account of her life, mad texting her girlfriends about dates and career horrors, as she navigates the prickly terrain of a modern America getting used to a black First Lady and struggling to rethink its image of black women in general. She recounts adventures with her dog Miles, who apparently—to her embarrassment—hates black men, and her search for Mr. Right, including a date with President Obama's bodyguard. She also offers painful recollections of near-abandonment by her mother, later growing up the only black child on Catalina Island, watching The Cosby Show with longing. Fans of her acerbic wit will appreciate this collection of essays. --Vanessa Bush --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

“The scathingly witty author examines a wide variety of topics that, beneath the jokes and sarcasm, address weighty issues (depression, aging, abortion) with wry astuteness…An irreverent, savvy and sharp memoir.” (Kirkus Reviews)

Bitch Is the New Black is an authentic fresh exploration of what it is to be young, black, and single right now—from a voice both outrageously funny and heartbreakingly honest.” (Shonda Rhimes, creator of "Grey's Anatomy" and "Private Practice")

“I didn’t like this book. I loved it....I’m giving copies to all of my girlfriends who have crazy families, love lives that revolve around IM, and, of course, I’m pretending I helped Helen write it.” (Angela Nissel, author of Mixed and The Broke Diaries)

“[A] bitingly funny — and honest — read....[Andrews] establishes herself as an individual, proving that the women who fit into the “strong (single) black woman” category are more complex than the one-dimensional persona lets on.” (Associated Press)

“Andrews’ combination of personal anecdote and analysis of success and race makes her tales unique. And at the same time, her exploration of gender in America is one surely any woman can relate to.” (Bust Magazine)

“With honesty and wit...Andrews is not afraid to reveal anything, even her bra size.” (Washington Post)

Customer Reviews

The author wrote this book like she thinks.
TRUTH
This is the second time I am reading the book and I am on page 12 laughing so hard!
Ronnie
To me, it's very fresh and not a style I've come across frequently.
Nicole Wilson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

35 of 48 people found the following review helpful By GeorgiaGal on August 19, 2010
Format: Hardcover
From the hype about this book, I started reading it with the expectation that I would be enlightened about why black women are largely single. Ha, fooled me! This book was a self-centered, arrogant rant about the author's life, with only tidbits here and there about black women's relationships with me. My girlfriend, for her birthday, invited several of her friends to a retreat, and she asked each of us to read the book. I only finished it so that I could participate in the discussion of the book, which turned out to be a discussion on how painful it was for each of us, well-degreed black women, to get through the book. The girlfriend who had asked us to read the book exclaimed, "there must be something that you liked about it!" Okay, I thought the writing style was engaging, but the content was horrible, disjointed, boring, convoluted, contrived, and way too detailed. If I were reading a book about Oprah Winfrey's life then, yes, I want all the tidbits; but for an author who few people have ever heard of before, I can't really get excited about her life story. I passed the book along to two other friends so that they wouldn't waste the money that I had wasted on it. I'm fine if they never return the book to me.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Ernessa T. Carter on June 17, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Andrews is a terrific writer, engaging and cool like a walking one-woman episode of SEX AND THE CITY -- if SATC were black. I loved how the essays skipped back and forth over time. I loved her love for her character of a mother. I loved how she said duuuude in print All.The.Time. And having a BFF in Jersey, I was so feeling her relationship with her bicoastal best friend. Actually it helped that the essays clipped along at a fast pace, never overstaying their welcome, but leaving you with the impression that you had just taken in a really good story -- the best kind of party guest. But most of all, Andrews is really, really funny. I mean laugh-out-loud funny. I had to fight the urge not to put the book down and tweet something I had just read several times
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Paula Settles on January 9, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
That's pretty much it: Narcissistic. My book club read it (6 mature, smart, well educated, professional women). We were surprised to learn that NONE OF US liked this read! It was surprisingly sophomoric. Do young women really take this much BS from men? Ms. Andrews is obviously a smart, talented young woman with a turbulent childhood and 'man' and 'mother' issues. We all wondered who the intended audience was. Women 30 and under, we decided. Though, by 30 one would hope to be beyond the point of desperation. I hope that she truly finds herself and heals herself before publishing another book. This one missed the mark for me. On a scale of 1 to 10, I gave it a 3. Mine was the highest score.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Kari B. Gipson on June 21, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Wickedly funny! Helena Andrews wrote a book that I could finally relate to. Situations ranging from "Dex10" to "he's gay" and "baby prom dress" were situations I could relate to. I appreciate your openness and honesty about some of the more personal hurdles and decisions you had to face at such a young age. I highly recommend this for the soon to be "30" crowd if you are looking for laughs. Great job Ms. Andrews!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A. Johnson on November 13, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Now usually I don't do this, but uh....

"You have to read this book. Get it on Kindle if you have to. This girl could be our friend. I just read it. In.one.sitting."

Coming from a published author I had to listen. Had to. And I don't even use Kindle for my iPhone. But at the time the $24 was a little rich for my blood. I ended up spending $34. It was so nice I needed a physical copy to foist upon others, but I digress.

The Title:

She's not [that] angry. But if she were, wouldn't she be entitled? After all, there is the age-old cry for recognizance, 'Ain't I a woman?' In her late 20s, I'd say she has a right. I know I'm mad.

And oh wait--it makes you stop and take a second look in the bookstore does it not? And if you mainly gripe, then you weren't going to buy it anyway. Don't worry, I'll buy another copy.

The Progression:

Helena the young, meet Helena the slightly yes young.
The essays follow Helena as she cocoons from a fledgling youth to an adult fully cognizant of her gifts and slightly more cognizant of what is fair to expect from the world--for a woman of her gifts, a lot.

This reads less like a, 'oh my life' memoir, than a collection of carefully selected and arranged essays much akin to the compilations of that other David guy--I've got Foster Wallace on the brain, but I want the author of Girl with Curious Hair.

Read it straight through--because you'll want to--then sit down with it, be selective even, re-reading essays, until you can identify and follow the thesis statement. Yes, read it like you have to write a paper on it.

The Writing:

Sometimes overly colloquial/conversational--a problem with most budding first person authors.
Read more ›
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jessica D Milteer on October 27, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Although some people might say 28 is too young to write a memoir, Andrews definitely proves that theory wrong. This book is a page turner and I think other women, especially young black women, will find the author to be funny and relatable. From the revealing look she gives us at her dating life to the awe-inspiring moments with her mother, this book has a lot for those who want a little insight the life of one young, single, successful woman. I wish I could buy this book for every girl I know. Kudos to Andrews! Hopefully, she will write a second part that covers her life post-Bitch is the New Black!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews


More About the Author

Featured in Marie Claire, Glamour, The Washington Post, Essence, OUT and Uptown Washington journalist Helena Andrews is a purveyor of all things awesome. HarperCollins published her first book, a memoir in essays entitled BITCH IS THE NEW BLACK, on June 1st, 2010. Grey's Anatomy creator Shonda Rhimes has optioned the book as a feature film for Fox Searchlight Pictures.

A former staff writer at Politico and New York Times Style Section contributor, Helena now writes a popular weekly column called "Single-Minded" on being "free, single and disengaged" for The Root, a division of The Washington Post.

On December 10th, 2009 The Washington Post published a front-page profile of Helena that set the Interwebs on fire! The article, "Single Minded Success," prompted responses from The Huffington Post, Jezebel and Racialicious among others. In it Helena explained why she wrote BITCH IS THE NEW BLACK: "What I'm trying to say about single black women [all women, really] is that you don't know them as well as you think you do. They may not know themselves as well as they think they do." She approaches single-hood with rare honesty and grit.

Helena has appeared on ABC's "Nightline," CBS's "Early Show," CNN, XM Radio, NPR and NY1. She's shared her unique take on everything pop culture from "The Real Housewives of Atlanta" ("totes cray cray") to Disney's "Princess and the Frog" (magical indoctrination) with millions of fans across the country.

After graduating from Columbia University in 2002, Helena scored a sweet $5.15/hour internship at O, the Oprah Magazine. (Like all good indentured serv... er, interns, she survived on Ramen noodles, free food in the break room and the kindness of strangers.)

In 2005, Helena earned a master's degree from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University, which provided the solid reporting foundation necessary to answer phones as a news assistant in the Washington bureau of The New York Times.

From there Helena went on to cover Capitol Hill for Politico, which resulted in an allergic reaction to politics that was cured only slightly by writing a book. She is currently working on the film adaptation of BITCH IS THE NEW BLACK and (as a former pro cheerleader) living vicariously through "So You Think You Can Dance?" and every horrendous dance movie ever made, including but not limited to the "Step Up" franchise.

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