Bridget Christie is a stand-up comedian, idiot and feminist. On the 30th of April 2012, a man farted in the Women’s Studies Section of a bookshop and it changed her life forever.
A Book For Her details Christie’s twelve years of anonymous toil in the bowels of stand-up comedy and the sudden epiphany that made her, unbelievably, one of the most critically acclaimed British stand-up comedians this decade, drawing together the threads that link a smelly smell in the women’s studies section to the global feminist struggle.
Find out how nice Peter Stringfellow’s fish tastes, how yoghurt advertising perpetuates rape myths, and how Emily Bronte used a special ladies’ pen to write Wuthering Heights.
If you’re interested in comedy and feminism, then this is definitely the book for you. If you hate both then I’d probably give it a miss.
This is a funny, entertaining read that really got me thinking- so much so that I continued thinking about the issues within it for days after, and still am now.
Though the novel mainly discusses Bridget Christie’s career and experiences as a female stand up comedian, it weaves in a huge amount of feminism and feminist ideology- that’s the main theme, as you can probably gather from the synopsis, and what ties it all together. It addresses many issues – including the way female stand ups are portrayed, the way women are treated in society as a whole, the suffragettes, misogyny, Female Genital Mutilation, casual and less casual sexism, ‘Bic for Women’, and much, much more. A lot of it is pretty damn upsetting, and made me feel really angry and indignant, but it’s mostly communicated in an overarchingly funny way, which I guess keeps things from getting too bleak. It’s such an important message that managing to convey it like this is really skilfull.
There were still parts that I found less absorbing or entertaining- the beginning where she labours the points about farts, for one. I understand why it was included, I just didn’t find it that funny or that necessary, and felt it went on too long. However there was so many more interesting parts that this balanced it out!
As I mentioned, A Book For Her is still very shocking at times though- there was a lot of information in this that I didn’t realise was true, even though I’d think of myself as being pretty aware of feminist issues. I won’t give them away here though, you’ll have to read it yourself!
This is an ideal book club read, especially as a group of women of differing ages, as we all had loads to discuss. Sometimes our opinions differed but overall we all really enjoyed this novel and found it incredibly thought-provoking, without being too heavy- even though it could be argued that the issues within it would be worthy of a very sombre, serious novel indeed, if she’d chosen to write one- but of course she didn’t, she’s a comedian!
Have you read A Book For Her, or are you a fan of Bridget Christie? A few of the group are going to see her stand up show at the Norwich Playhouse in May- I really wanted to go as well but I’ll be on holiday then so sadly can’t.
Let me know your thoughts!
The Son-in-Law by Charity Norman
For three years Joseph Scott has been haunted by one moment-the moment that changed his life forever. Now he is starting over, and he wants his family back more than anything.
This is the story of Joseph and his wife, Zoe; of their children, Scarlet, Theo and Ben, for whom nothing will be the same; and of Zoe’s parents, who can’t forgive or understand.
A compelling, moving and ultimately optimistic story of one man who will do almost anything to be reunited with his children. And of the grandparents who are determined to stop him.