Author: Despentes, Virginie
Publisher: The Feminist Press at CUNY
A pulpy tale of mismatched twins struggling to embody the perfect woman: Effortlessly cool and slyly spiky, Despentes probes the dynamics of fame, beauty, and female competition, putting her finger on the pulse of what it's like to wear the daily drag of femininity--and then pressing down, slowly and calmly, right where it hurts (Alexandra Kleeman, author of You Too Can Have a Body Like Mine).
Claudine has always been pretty and Pauline has always been ugly. But when Claudine wants to become famous, she convinces gloomy Pauline--with her angelic voice--to pretend they're the same person. Yet just as things take off, Claudine commits suicide.
Pauline hatches a new scheme, pulling on her dead sister's identity, inhabiting her apartment, and reading her mail. As the impersonation continues, Pauline slowly realizes that the cost of femininity is to dazzle on the outside while rotting away on the inside--and that womanhood is what ultimately killed her sister.
It's pulp in every sense: propulsively readable, violent, sexy, with all the satisfaction of an inevitable ending. And yet it's also a feminist parable, blunt and unrelenting in its wrath, and it feels as fresh now as it would have ten years ago. --The Paris Review