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Trainwreck

The Women We Love To Hate, Mock, and Fear…and Why

Sady Doyle
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“Some people take a scalpel to the heart of media culture; Sady Doyle brings a bone saw, a melon baller, and a machete. Trainwreck is a blistering indictment of how history has normalized sexism as entertainment, defining—and destroying—the women we claim to love.”
—Andi Zeisler, author of We Were Feminists Once

She’s everywhere once you start looking for her: the trainwreck.

She’s Britney Spears shaving her head, Whitney Houston saying, “crack is whack,” and Amy Winehouse, dying in front of millions. But the trainwreck is also as old (and as meaningful) as feminism itself.

From Mary Wollstonecraft—who, for decades after her death, was more famous for her illegitimate child than for A Vindication of the Rights of Woman—to Charlotte Brontë, Billie Holiday, Sylvia Plath, and even Hillary Clinton, Sady Doyle’s Trainwreck dissects a centuries-old phenomenon and asks what it means, now that we have unprecedented access to celebrities and civilians alike, and women are pushing harder than ever against the boundaries of what it means to “behave.”

Where did these women come from? What are their crimes? And what does it mean for the rest of us? For an age when any form of self-expression can be the one that ends you, Sady Doyle’s book is as fierce and intelligent as it is funny and compassionate—an essential, timely, feminist anatomy of the female trainwreck.

Sady Doyle founded the blog Tiger Beatdown in 2008. Her work has appeared in In These Times, The Guardian, Elle.com, The Atlantic, Slate, Buzzfeed, Rookie, and lots of other places around the Internet. Her first book, Trainwreck: The Women We Love to Hate, Mock, and Fear… And Why is out now from Melville House.

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Selected Press

“Smart…compelling…persuasive…Doyle reminds us that we shouldn’t be so quick to judge women in terms of degrading stereotypes or unrealistic expectations.”
The New York Times Book Review

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