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Suits: A Woman on Wall Street Hardcover – February 28, 2011

36 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


USA Today and Texas Monthly top pick! 

"Quite literally, I could not put this book down." -- Forbes

"heartwarming, heartbreaking, and hilarious in one great book.  [Suits] is an absolute must-read."--Lois P. Frankel, author of Nice Girls Don't Get the Corner Office

"An intriguing...outsider's tale of lethal ambition." --Kirkus Reviews 

"must-read for anyone"  --Anne Fisher, Fortune Magazine CNN Money

Los Angeles Times:
Just finished with freshman year in college, Nina Godiwalla leaves her tight Zoroastrian community in Houston for a summer internship she's talked her way into at J.P. Morgan in Manhattan, an organization known for its old-boy prestige and pure snootiness. Armed with four cheap suits and two pairs of Payless shoes, she throws herself into the fray. From the start, Godiwalla is exposed to the hazing culture of investment bankers in training; the excess, the subtle and not-so-subtle racism, the colleagues who "police each other" and will do anything to shine in the eyes of their division bosses. Godiwalla is determined to succeed and win her father's respect. She struggles to fit in, and after college and the two-year analyst program, she is offered a spot in the highly coveted Corporate Finance division. But by the time this offer is made, Godiwalla has had her Devil-Wears-Prada moment. The last thing she wants is to turn out like the people she has been trying so hard to please. It's a fine moment when she realizes her own true worth....the story is told with alarming detail and considerable humility — it's a tale that will help the reader hone his or her ambition down to a finer, more human point.

From the Back Cover

" Ever wish you had a friend who had worked in the Wall Street pressure cooker and could tell you what it's really like? Meet Suits author Nina Godiwalla. Her candid memoir is a must-read for anyone (especially any woman) aspiring to a career in high finance." --Anne Fisher, Fortune CNN Money is a riveting read! [Godiwalla] fiercely exposes the soul destroying compromises of a woman trying to gain acceptance in the male dominated world of investment banking."

" Nina Godiwalla has given us a fascinating account of her rollercoaster ride as a young woman of color on Wall Street. At once hilarious and heartbreaking, this book about choices and their consequences is a gripping read."
--Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, author of The Mistress of Spices

" Ms. Godiwalla has written an incredibly readable, cautionary tale of the hurdles that a young woman faces on Wall Street." --John Rolfe, author of Monkey Business: Swinging Through the Wall Street Jungle

" Nina Godiwalla has managed to combine heartwarming, heartbreaking, and hilarious in one great book. Suits is an absolute must-read for any woman considering a career in finance."
--Lois P. Frankel, Ph.D., author of Nice Girls Don't Get the Corner Office

" Fresh, funny and utterly convincing. Nina Godiwalla has perfect pitch. In Suits she not only nails the Wall Street culture, she gets inside the skin of a fiercely ambitious young woman caught in the cross hairs of culture and gender."--Sylvia Ann Hewlett, author of Top Talent

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Atlas (February 28, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 193463395X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1934633953
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 0.1 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #527,629 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Nina Godiwalla is the CEO of MindWorks (, which provides leadership, stress management, and diversity training to companies around the world. Ms. Godiwalla is also the bestselling author of Suits: A Woman on Wall Street, an insider's perspective on her experience at Morgan Stanley from the outsider's point of view of a second-generation Indian woman. The New York Times describes her internationally acclaimed book as "The Devil Wears Prada" of investment banking.

Ms. Godiwalla is often sought out as a leadership expert by prominent institutions including The White House, Harvard Business School, NASA, Smithsonian, The Wall Street Journal Executive Task Force, and TED Conference. Before becoming an internationally recognized speaker, Ms. Godiwalla spent almost a decade working for Fortune 500 corporations. Along with Barbara Bush and Sandra Day O'Connor, Ms. Godiwalla was honored into the Texas Women's Hall of Fame. In 2012 she accepted the invitation by the White House, Office of the President, to serve on their Leadership Roundtable, and she also serves on Governor Rick Perry's Business Council. She is often featured in major media including USA Today, Forbes Magazine, Elle Magazine, NPR, ABC News, and CNN.

Ms. Godiwalla holds an MBA from Wharton, an MA from Dartmouth, and a BBA from The University of Texas.


Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By tellit on February 27, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was very excited for this book as a young minority woman who has gone through the wall st two year program. I'd say on the whole the book captured very well many of the rough emotional aspects, like numbness, the lack of meaning, loneliness, men dominated culture/double standard, rationalization of everything that is so obviously wrong, etc. It also captured very well the typical person that ends up on wall st for men and women, general a smart hardworking person who has always excelled but not necessarily has a passion to pursue other than to always do the best, in this case, the "best" career. I also loved the immigrant backdrop that actually intensifies the entire experience.

While I give the author a lot of credit for putting out this book, I was also disappointed in some aspects. I thought the book under-focused on what actually pushed her to make the change, and conveyed a lot of negative things that caused her to change but not necessarily positive driven things. And well the change in many ways, I felt it still represented more or less being stuck, but maybe just less stuck. Or maybe ironically, it demonstrated if that is a "significant" change at a bank, how rigid it actually is... I wish there was more of a positive takeaway and this isn't anything on the author's own life because she actually goes on to do many interesting things not covered by the book.

Also this book has been said to be the answer to Liar's Poker which I disagree with because they actually focus on different things. Liar's Poke focused on an entire era via key people in that era, while this was very personal and the story could've unfolded really at any time, at any male dominated career requiring long hours.

I think it is still a good book for anyone in high school or college to get a realistic idea of the working environment on Wall St.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By aedahm on January 28, 2011
Format: Hardcover
...a book that really "gets it". The answer to all of those b-school man-thrillers. This is the pioneering book that I've been seeking for over a decade-- that tells it like it really is for women trying to make an impact and yet maintain their sanity and femininity, too. Godiwalla's voice is clear, authentic and strong. And very necessary. A must-read on every business leader's bookshelf.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By rg2011 on January 28, 2011
Format: Hardcover
"Suits" is a little like "Devil Wears Prada" meets the investment banking world, combined with a glimpse of life growing up as the rebellious daughter of Indian immigrants.

The author tells her story with a refreshing honesty and bluntness that makes the book stand out. It's not just about a woman in a man's world and the excesses of the banking industry but also about an internal struggle of identity. And in the debate over "Tiger Mother," this book gives another view of growing up in an Asian household.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Alex on December 7, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I work on Wall Street and can attest that there are many truthful elements in Ms. Godiwalla's narrative. That said, I was unable to finish the book (although I read 3/4 of it) because I was so frustrated by how self-flattering this book is. Throughout the book, she casually (and sometimes not-so-casually) references how great her performance was, how she was a star analyst and how her team/bosses thought that she had so much potential, etc.

In a way, this book could be a resume because of how often she writes about how great she was. I'm sure that by the end of the book she does some "soul-searching" and tries to "find" herself through a more "meaningful" career but that oh-so-surprising ending was not worth reading through to the end.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Michael Chang on January 30, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I found "Suits" to be a very interesting read. It's written from the perspective of a female and a minority (both a Southerner and an Asian-American!) in a very male dominated and Ivy league industry. As an Asian American in management in a large, fast-paced corporation, I could connect with the questions of "do I really belong here?" and "is this what I really want?" that the protagonist, Nina, goes through during her initiation into Wall Street's culture. It also offers an interesting glimpse into what it's like living as a 1st generation American, in combining cultures/attitudes of her parents' heritage with what's the "norm" in American society. And the resulting struggle of having to hide pieces of both parts from each other for fear of embarrassment or misunderstanding between the two.

I didn't connect as much with the second aspect of the book, which is her relationship with her father and being a female on Wall Street, but that could be just because I'm reading it more from a guy's perspective. In any case, it was still insightful to see how things can look so differently between men and women in the workplace.

In the end it was an inspirational read with Nina's realization of what's really important to her and having the courage to change her course. You also come away seeing that Wall Street looks a lot better from the outside then the inside. "Suits" is well-written, insightful, and funny and sometimes sad at times.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Txcorkdork on January 28, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have always wanted to be a fly on the wall at a Wall Street firm--just to know if the glamorous image these guys portray is justified by reality. This book gave me an eyes wide open look at what it is really like to be an investment banker--this image I am left with is anything but enviable. The culture is appalling, and it is tragic to read about how those who are subjected to it are affected.

I loved following the author's journey from Houston to Manhattan. She builds so many facades and walls around herself to fit in, the weight crushes her. The odds were definitely against her for a number of reasons: she's from Texas, she's a woman and she is ethnic. Her tenacious drive to travel her own path and make her life different from her parents' lives is astounding and inspirational. While women in corporate America do have many more opportunities to serve in executive positions at top firms today, the book reveals that on Wall Street, seemingly antiquated ideas about a woman's role are still thriving.
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