Me, My Hair, and I

Join editor Elizabeth Benedict and contributors Elizabeth Searle, Rebecca Newberger Goldstein, and Hallie Ephron.

"Untangles the many truths about hair, and the lives we lead underneath it." -- Pamela Druckerman, author of Bringing Up Bebe

These twenty-seven "hair pieces" offer up reflections and revelations about family, race, religion, ritual, culture, motherhood, politics, celebrity, what goes on in African American kitchens and at Hindu Bengali weddings, alongside stories about the influence of Jackie Kennedy, Lena Horne, Farrah Fawcett, and the Grateful Dead. Layered into these essays you'll find surprises, insights, hilarity, and the resonance of common experience. Marita Golden writes about her grief over what so many African American women still endure to obtain "good hair." Patricia Volk itemizes her seventeen hair care products, each with a price tag. Myra Goldberg tells of how ill equipped she was to tend the hair of her adopted biracial daughter. And Suleika Jaouad describes the ravages of chemotherapy and the empowerment of shaving designs onto her head. These writers know that a woman's hair is her glory, her nemesis, her history, and her self-esteem. They know, too, that many things in life matter more than hair, but few bring as much pleasure as a really great hairdo.

Elizabeth Benedict is a graduate of Barnard College and the author of five novels, including the bestseller Almost and the National Book Award finalist Slow Dancing. She is the editor of the anthologies What My Mother Gave Me, a New York Times bestseller, and Mentors, Muses & Monsters, and has written for the New York Times, the Boston Globe, the Los Angeles Times, Esquire, and the Huffington Post, the Rumpus, and Tin House. Two of her essays have been selected for "Best American Essays" collections. She has taught widely and works as a writing coach and editor.

Hallie Ephron is the New York Times bestselling author of Night Night, Sleep Tight, a suspense novel inspired by an infamous Beverly Hills murder that took place when Hallie was growing up there in the ‘60s, surrounded by but never part of Hollywood glamour. A starred review in Publisher’s Weekly calls it “a captivating thriller.” It was InStyle Magazine’s #1 “Page-turning Pick" for April. The Richmond Times-Dispatch raves, “So hooray for Hollywood, hooray for homicide, and hooray for Hallie Ephron, who begins with a seed of truth and grows it into a bumper crop of crime and cynicism." Her earlier novel, Never Tell a Lie, was made into a movie for the Lifetime Movie Network. Hallie is also the author of the Edgar-nominated Writing and Selling Your Mystery Novel. She is a regular book reviewer for the Boston Globe.

Rebecca Newberger Goldstein, a graduate of Barnard College who received her PhD from Princeton, is the author of ten books, of both fiction and philosophy. Her novels include The Mind-Body Problem, Properties of Light, and 36 Arguments for The Existence of God: A Work of Fiction. She is also the author of Incompleteness: The Proof and Paradox of Kurt Gödel, named by Discover Magazine one of the best science books of its year, and the award-winning Betraying Spinoza: The Renegade Jew Who Gave Us Modernity. Her latest book is Plato at The Googleplex: Why Philosophy Won’t Go Away. The recipient of numerous awards for both her fiction and scholarship, in 1996 she was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship, popularly known as the “genius” prize. She has also been named the Humanist of the Year by the American Humanist Association, and Free-thought Heroine by the Freedom from Religion Foundation. She is Professor of Philosophy at New College of the Humanities in London.

Elizabeth Searle has a 2016 novel forthcoming and four previous books of fiction: My Body to You, winner of the Iowa Short Fiction Prize; A Four-Sided Bed, now in development as a feature film; Celebrities in Disgrace and Girl Held in Home. Her theater work, Tonya & Nancy: the Rock Opera, has drawn national media attention and has been produced in Boston, Hollywood and more; it's playing in NYC as part of the New York Musical Festival, 2015. Elizabeth's work has appeared in over a dozen anthologies. She lives in Arlington, MA with her husband and son; she teaches fiction and scriptwriting at Stonecoast MFA.

Event date: 
Monday, October 5, 2015 - 7:00pm
Event address: 
Porter Square Books
25 White St.
Cambridge, MA 02140
Me, My Hair, and I: Twenty-Seven Women Untangle an Obsession Cover Image
ISBN: 9781616204112
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Algonquin Books - September 29th, 2015