Wednesday, January 17, 2024

Five books featuring women who use beauty as currency

Celine Saintclare, described as "one to watch" by Publishers Weekly, is a Buckinghamshire based author of English and Caribbean descent. She is motivated to write as a way of exploring the complexities of her own identity and to tell stories about society’s transgressors.

Her debut novel is Sugar, Baby.

At Lit Hub Saintclare tagged five titles featuring "women who paint and polish their beauty into a gleaming currency of its own. These women are aware of the way the world works and use their looks to their advantage in a patriarchal system." One title on the list:
Jacqueline Susann, Valley of the Dolls

A classic for a reason. Set across the fifties and sixties, beautiful and sophisticated Anne Welles, moves to New York to work as a secretary at a dramatic agency. She befriends scrappy up-and-comer with enormous talent Neely O’Hara and ravishing beauty with a complicated past Jennifer North, and the three women navigate career, men and friendship together in the entertainment business and beyond.

This is a compulsively readable book with brilliantly crafted dialogue and prose that interrogates many complex themes with originality. For me, many of the character’s discoveries about themselves rang with truth and recognizability. It made me laugh, it made me cry: it’s a favorite for all time.
Read about another entry on the list.

Valley of the Dolls is among Jeffrey Robinson's six beach reads where big characters live big stories.

--Marshal Zeringue