MANTALK: A Book for Women Only by Irma Kurtz

MANTALK: A Book for Women Only

Email this review


An iconoclastic woman draws on ""thirty-odd years of my adult life"" to reveal what she perceives as profound differences in the way men and women view the world, themselves and interpersonal relationships. A columnist for Cosmopolitan and frequent contributor to Punch and the Guardian, Kurtz (who currently lives in London) can hone cutting aphorisms. ""A man and a woman,"" she says, ""have one important thing in common at the start of a romance: they are both in love with him."" In Kurtz's view, men think of life as ""the playground where they learn to give harder knocks than they get,"" while women think of it as ""a nursery."" Men like to adore women and enjoy them for the nonce. Woman want to settle down and start a family. Hence, while he is enjoying this ""pocket goddess,"" whom he has ""placed on a pedestal of his own making,"" she ""is interior decorating the future."" This produces considerable difficulties in courtship and marriage. Then, suddenly, ""without him knowing precisely how it happened, he has become the source of another person's happiness and expectations."" At this point many males opt for strategic retreat. ""It's easier to get over feeling like a rat than feeling like a husband,"" comments Kurtz. When not doling out her cheekily irreverent opinions, Kurtz bolsters her arguments with tantalizing tidbits of her own experiences with men--and they've been lulus. This could make some readers--including those who disagree with her broad-brush opinions--lust for a full-fledged autobiography. In the meantime, there's this little (192-page) volume with more quotable quotes and stimulating observations per page than in 100 others of its ilk.

Pub Date: Feb. 14th, 1987
Publisher: Beech Tree/Morrow