Not Pretty Enough: The Unlikely Triumph of Helen Gurley Brown by Gerri Hirshey
Tuesday, December 6
EVENT UPDATE! Liz Smith, the legendary New York City gossip columnist, will be joining Gerri Hirshey for the discussion about Helen Gurley Brown, who was one of her greatest friends.
When Helen Gurley Brown’s Sex and the Single Girl appeared in 1962, it sold more than two million copies in its first hard/softcover run, helping to usher in the unapologetic self-affirmation of second-wave feminism. Brown declared that it was okay, even imperative, for unmarried women to enjoy sex; that equal rights for women should extend to the bedroom; that meaningful work outside the home was essential for a woman’s security and self-esteem. The book catapulted Brown into national renown, cementing her status as a complex—and divisive—feminist personality. And the ripple effects of her outspokenness about sex and her emphasis on friendships between women can still be seen today, on TV shows like Sex and the City and Girls. She may not always have been loved—but she was always talked about.
Gerri Hirshey has worked as a features writer, columnist, reporter, and essayist for The Washington Post, The New York Times Magazine, Rolling Stone, Vanity Fair, GQ, Esquire, The Nation, and New York, among other publications. She is the author of Nowhere to Run: The Story of Soul Music and We Gotta Get Out of This Place: The True, Tough Story of Women in Rock.