Saturday, November 14, 2009

"Have You No Shame?": A Review (By Heather)

I came upon Rachel Shukert's book Have You No Shame? at a reading in which she read a section of her memoir entitled "A Nice Girl Like You." The section chronicles the difficulty of finding a job in New York City after not having had a job in the city before. Shukert gets a job in a vintage-esque thrift store but finds it much more difficult to secure a job she actually likes.

The first time I got to read the book from start to finish was on a spring break trip to Maine with my grandparents. I was reading it on my kindle with its text-to-speech feature on, headphones in, when I got to chapter six. In this chapter, Shukert recalls a time in which she is a rebellious teenager, away from her parent's watchful eyes at a Jewish youth group, dodging her chaperones and having a lot of oral sex. Up until that point, I was very much entertained and laughing often, but for one thing, it just didn't feel right reading this in the back seat of my grandparent's Buick. I suppose that the environment in which I read it somewhat colored my interpretation in that I am more conservative and therefore, a bit prudish around my grandparents. However, having read the book since then, that is still my least favorite chapter. There is a lot of entertainment to be had in Rachel Shukert's book in which she invites the reader into some very private moments through different stages of her life.

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