Sunday, June 26, 2011

Paperback 430: Free Woman / Katharine Brush (Dell 10c 18)

Paperback 430: Dell 10c 18 (1st ptg., 1951)

Title: Free Woman
Author: Katharine Brush
Cover artist: Barye Phillips

Yours for: $12

Dell10c.FreeWoman

Best things about this cover:
  • This cover never fails to make me laugh—it's such a simple, visually succinct statement of the evils of the Career Girl. "Why does mommy hate us, daddy?" "Because she's a selfish harpy, Timmy. All women are. You'll learn."
  • Or maybe she's just trying on a new suit at the department suit. "How do I look, dear?" "Well Timmy hates it, right Timmy?" "Something's wrong with my right foot, daddy."
  • I like her gloves. A lot. I also like how she's verrrry subtly giving those two the middle finger.
  • She is literally looking down her nose at them. "You two—bring the car around."

Dell10cbc.FreeWoman

Best things about this back cover:
  • "Jon is not your son. He sprang forth fully formed from my head. Now, bring the car around!"
  • "At the height of her success, disaster struck, and she was ruined." Spoiler alert!
  • "Like any unruly horse, she was broken by a man..."

Page 23~

She had finished school in June, and in September the first fruits awaited her—she was to be Director of Athletics, spelled that way in capitals, at a fashionable school for girls in Pennsylvania.

Oooh, capital letters. That *is* fashionable.

~RP

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Tumblr]

6 comments:

Kat said...

So, is this about how career women are baaaad and should be happy cooking for their families and being mothers? o.O I hope not. If so: Yay, great message, Katharine Brush.

Her fingers seem quite short to me. xD

Jean said...

Yup. And, this tremendous career that is so prestigious? PE teacher, apparently.

S.L. Stevens said...

See, if this book were about a man, it would be celebrating his success and determination (which wouldn't be presented as aggression). Youch. And it's really weird that this book is vilifying this woman for doing well at her job as athletic director at a "fashionable school for girls," which would have been considered an acceptable and respectable career for a woman even in 1951.

Sara said...

I think I would like to read "Marihuana."

borky said...

Cover: "Gee, Daddy, why's Mommy pushing my special chair away - can't she see still I'm still crippled with a gammy leg?"

"Sure she can, son, but she's a patriot and career woman, now, and she's frightened you might grow up to raise her tax bill and bring down society by claiming benefits from it."

"A patriot - is that Mommy's new career, now?"

"It sure is, son! See those pink washing up gloves she's wearing? In a minute she's go'n'o come back and shove them up your ass to see if Al Qaeda's up there, and if she finds any cola drinks or lollypops or other types of things ragheads can make into weapons of mass destruction she's go'n'o personally see to it you go to Guantanamo for the rest of your life!"

"Gee, Dad, Mommy must be really proud of herself!"

"She sure is, son - she's a member of the Transportation Security Administration!"

L. said...

She was a free woman. Her name was mary (not Harriet). Behind locked doors she had a taste for cognac and marihuana. She knew without rain trees die at the top. The sun, sea and sand caused her to become the beachcomber. As an alibi for isabel, she used the lamp of God to lead her to the door to death. Along with Pal Joey, she took a journey for life on the night bus, remembering laughter.