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Confessions of a Recovering Slut: And Other Love Stories Paperback – May 30, 2006
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From Publishers Weekly
NPR commentator Gillespie follows her debut collection of autobiographical essays (Bleachy-Haired Honky Bitch) with more tales from Atlanta's dark side. This latest installment of entertaining but uneven pieces uses as fodder Gillespie's friends, family, work as a flight attendant and neighborhood of "drug addicts, whores, and crack dealers." The author's straightforward writing style does not limit her subject matter, and she finds humor in the bleakest subjects, like her mother's death from liver cancer or her neighbor's house being set on fire. The pieces range from lighthearted to downright depressing, and as a collection can feel repetitive, as Gillespie retells her family's history whenever she writes about them. Her strongest writing appears when she's talking about her young daughter, Milly (e.g., in "The Dead Guy," she relates trying to distract Milly as they drive by a dead person on the side of the road—which is evidently not an uncommon occurrence in her neighborhood). Gillespie's work may appeal to readers in the Atlanta area and fans of her NPR commentaries and previous book, but might be too grim for a wider audience. (July)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
*Starred Review* Gillespie's knack for keeping questionable company is rivaled only by her ability to write about it in hilarious, often heartbreaking detail. In this follow-up to her 2004 memoir, Bleachy-Haired Honky Bitch, the NPR commentator (and daughter of a missile scientist and alcoholic traveling salesman) once again mines the rocky road of her life to render rubies of truth. The difference this time around is that Gillespie, a flight attendant who lives in one of Atlanta's most dangerous crack neighborhoods, is pregnant. How can she raise daughter Milly on a block where cops are gunned down by clerics, severed heads are found in plastic sacks, and the corner drug dealer regularly sets fire to her neighbor's house? Like the rest of us, she turns to her friends for help, including Grant, a gay bartender with a beehive hairdo and a collection of religious kitsch, and crusty but lovable Lary, who "from the neck up looks exactly like Einstein's insane bastard son." Gillespie's prickly descriptions of pregnancy are priceless: "I feel like a walking trash bag full of pig fat." Being a single mother may have mellowed her a bit, but Gillespie's perspective remains deliciously demented and endearingly askew. Allison Block
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
In Bleachy-Haired, Hollis finally found her place in the world after an itinerant childhood, created a new family out of a very eccentric cast of characters, and bought her first house--in a dangerous crack neighborhood in South Atlanta. And then she got pregnant, which is the basis of Confessions: pregnancy, single parenting, facing fears and the future, more dysfunctional family & friendships, and finding a new house in a safer neighborhood.
Hollis is hysterical--I can hardly wait for the third book in her "Bitch/Slut/Whore" series. You GO, Girl--again.
Sherri Caldwell, co-author, The Rebel Housewife Rules: To Heck With Domestic Bliss!
And while most of us have to do that sooner or later (it's the short phase you go through before you realize you're old). Most of us don't have as good a way with words or a particular twist of mind to see quite as much humor in it as she does. Hard as it is to imagine, she's now a homeowner.
This book is a reprint of articles that she wrote while going through this change. This adds a timeliness to her writing. And also a randomness as this week she is thinking of this problem and next week something else. Besides few of us read her normal publication, 'Creative Loafing.'
Her next book will have to deal with the PTA, the school system, all the joys of home ownership (plumbing, electric, paint), and of course the other mothers at the soccer games. You'll just have to read this one while you wait.
Ms. Gillespie is that rare humorist (like Sedaris at his best) whose tales are as heart-wrenching as they are knee-slapping. Sure she has fascinating adventures with fascinating friends (including a new tiny comrade, her daughter Milly), but more importantly Hollis has a unique voice, a unique perspective, and a rare gift to bring all these things to life on the page. She deserves her interesting life because she's got the talent to exploit it for all of us to enjoy.
I loved it and can't wait to get Bleachy Haired Honky Bitch!