WALK IN MY SHOES: An Odyssey into Womanhood by

WALK IN MY SHOES: An Odyssey into Womanhood

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Doctor, lawyer, founder of Odyssey House--now a nationwide network of drug-treatment shelters--happily married wife, and mother of four, Judianne Densen-Gerber is a dynamic and formidable ""role model"" (as she'd put it) for the young woman who wants to have it all--all of ""womanlife."" Unfortunately, her reflections on ""womanlife"" in all its aspects--relation to self, family, career, and sisterhood--are often disorganized, inconsistent, and corny. At times they're also wise, intimate, and fascinating. The resultant mix of wisdom, platitude, digression, and anecdote is a jumble of raw ore from which the reader must extract Densen-Gerber's vital and heartening example. She writes of her anger at small, denigrating discriminations, of a temperamental quickness to speak up in defiance that will make the reader cheer, of the importance of caring for one's mate's needs and of providing discipline and firm values for children. She discusses the need for solitude, the sense of continuity-of-self born of keeping one's own name, the example of her grandmother, the link with cyclical nature that is menstruation, the ""hallelujah"" of pushing out a baby. She is at one and the same time an elitist (proud of the ""alphabet soup"" after her name, the ""million-dollar contract"" that must take second place to a child's illness, the butler and maid) and a crusader of angry and effective compassion for the abused and neglected. Her insights into womanhood are not new, her personal testament chimes in with others'; it's she, not her book, that fascinates, with one striking exception: a series of interviews with whores in a legal house of prostitution in Nevada who provide a brilliant, inadvertent caricature of the whole sorry American scene.

Pub Date: July 14th, 1976
Publisher: Saturday Review/Dutton