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Madonna and Me: Women Writers on the Queen of Pop Paperback – March 6, 2012

4.5 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Praise for Madonna and Me

"These memoirs reveal that Madonna’s mix of spirituality and raw sensuality had a considerable impact in shaping attitudes." —Publishers Weekly

"For someone who has spent the past 30 years defending Madonna to whoever would listen, Madonna & Me is like a homecoming. Reading these smart, funny, and moving essays by women who were influenced by the material girl brought me right back to my school years, when I was touched by Madonna for the very first time." —Debbie Stoller, editor-in-chief of BUST magazine and bestselling author of Stich 'n Bitch

"The writers in Madonna & Me explore all that Madonna has meant to more than one generation of feisty, feminist, powerful women. They dive right into her music, persona, and legacy, expressing themselves in ways that would surely give even Her Madgesty food for thought." —Rachel Kramer Bussel, editor of Women in Lust and the Best Sex Writing series

"In Madonna & Me, editor Laura Barcella shows how Madonna has become a cultural benchmark for women of varying backgrounds. Reaching far beyond pop-culture critique, the essays in this book examine Madonna—both the woman and the legend—as an allegory of the modern female experience." —Steve Lowenthal, music writer for SPIN and Village Voice, and founder of Swingset magazine

"Finally, an anthology that speaks to the blisteringly potent influence Madonna has had on women of our generation."—Julie Klausner, author of I Don't Care About Your Band

"When I first heard the song ‘Everybody’ in 1982, I ran right out and bought the ‘cas-single.’ Now, thirty years later, I greedily read everything about Madonna I can get my hands on. Madonna is one of those rare public figures who elicit a lifelong, intensely personal fixation, making this collection of essays a giddy pleasure. By turns hilarious, thought-provoking, and touching, Madonna & Me is a fitting salute to the smart, brash, occasionally infuriating provocateur, who is always offering us something new." —Jancee Dunn, music journalist for Rolling Stone, Vogue, The New York Times, and GQ, and author of Why is My Mother Getting a Tattoo? And Other Questions I Wish I Never Had to Ask

"Madonna & Me is a collection as saucy and savvy as Madonna herself. In heartfelt and incisive ways, the contributors engage with an icon who deeply impacted the identities, sexual and otherwise, of an entire generation of girls.” —Jillian Lauren, author of the New York Times bestselling memoir Some Girls: My Life in a Harem

"Sure, one Madonna gave birth to Jesus . . . but our Madonna gave birth to femme-inism. If you've forgotten why you should worship Madge, this hilarious, provocative collection is like a prayer to the patron saint of girl power."
—Jennifer Baumgardner, bestselling author of Manifesta, Look Both Ways, and F 'em!

Madonna & Me can easily hold the interest of non-Madonna-fans and even male readers, which is (sadly) no small feat. Highly recommended for anyone interested in music, pop culture, women's lives, and smart personal essays with heart.” —Scott Lapatine, founder of Stereogum.com
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Soft Skull Press; Original edition (March 6, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9781593764296
  • ISBN-13: 978-1593764296
  • ASIN: 1593764294
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.1 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #744,112 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Laura Barcella's edited collection of essays by women writers on the cultural legacy of Madonna is a thoughtful, and thought provoking, bit of cultural criticism. But don't let that "cultural criticism" thing scare you off. This is an eminently readable collection, light on social theory, and rich with personal reflections on how Madonna changed these women's lives - for better or worse - from their adolescence to adulthood.

While perfectly appropriate to read casually, there's also much for the serious student of pop culture here. Writers reflect on Madonna's appropriations of blackness, Latinity, and Jewishness; critique her use of sexual and religious imagery; question her choices in plastic surgery; and fret a bit about her legacy. But nearly all of the essays begin with some variation on "I first heard Madonna when...." and that personal connection is what makes this collection so compelling.

Madonna's creeping up on 60 now and she's had nearly three decades on the charts. This collection is a testament to her enduring credibility as a cultural commodity - which is what she's always striven to be. Laura Barcella and her contributors have made an important contribution to both the commemoration and the critique of this pop icon.
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Format: Paperback
I loved this collection of essays. I didn't really expect to, because I'm not a Madonna fan, but the writing was so good - intelligent, accessible, thoughtful, personal, and funny - that I was won over. And while it was the essays criticizing Madonna that I most enjoyed and agreed with, the collection as a whole left me with a newfound appreciation of her as a woman, artist, and cultural icon.

You don't need to be a Madonna fan (or vehement detractor) to appreciate Madonna and Me. I'm neither, and I got a lot out of most of these essays. If you're at all interested in Madonna and her music, or issues surrounding women and power, art and the role of the artist, or cultural exchange and appropriation, you'll probably appreciate what you find here.

What I liked most about this book was that it caused me to examine my own views of someone who after three decades remains an important and impactful cultural force. I also appreciated that the book itself was very well put together - nicely designed and carefully edited.

As someone interested in feminism, music, and popular culture, I would recommend Madonna and Me very highly.
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Format: Paperback
This exceptional compilation examines the Material Girl's value and meaning in a thought-provoking and comprehensive way. Literally dozens of her pioneering moves are bouncing around the pop charts at any given moment now under the guise of originality, and it's the perfect time to remember the great one who started it all. And in any case, growing up in the 80's and not at least seriously considering her work just seems wrong, so I'm glad I did it, and I'm glad it was so enjoyable!
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Format: Paperback
This is a smart, fun, fast-reading, fascinating, thought-provoking collection of essays and humor pieces - including my own - culled by editor Laura Barcella about the Midwest-born eternally famous Madonna in all her incarnations. Favorites (aside from mine) are by Wendy Shanker and Emily Nussbaum. Makes a great gift for any girlfriend, sister, mother, feminist pseudo-intellectual, Michiganian, Manhattanite or music-lover.
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Format: Paperback
This book remind me of why I've been a fan of Her Madgesty's for what feels like my entire life, even when I kind of wanted to slap her in the face. Funny and smart and thoughtful, these essays range from really good to super-really-read-bits-out-loud-to-your-friends good.
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Format: Paperback
What a great way to read about the ultimate queen of pop, from the perspective of rad women.... I highly recommend this book if you have even the slightest fondness for Madonna. She's a major influence on our culture and deserves recognition. Get it girl!
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Format: Paperback
I have laughed out loud reading these essays on several occasions. It is great book if you have trouble sitting down for a long period of time, as I do, because you only have to commit to one essay at a time. It is amazing how many women have been touched by Madonna and more amazing to hear how different their experiences have bee. It's sharp, witty, and my favorite book so far this year. Madonna and Me: Women Writers on the Queen of Pop
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