HELEN ELLIS, IN CONVERSATION WITH KATE WHITMAN SOUTHERN LADY CODE: ESSAYS
The bestselling author of American Housewife is back with a fiercely funny collection of essays on marriage and manners, thank-you notes and three-ways, ghosts, gunshots, gynecology, and the Calgon-scented, onion-dipped, monogrammed art of living as a Southern Lady. Helen Ellis has a mantra: "If you don't have something nice to say, say something not-so-nice in a nice way." Say "weathered" instead of "she looks like a cake left out in the rain." Say "early-developed" instead of "brace face and B cups." And for the love of Coke Salad, always say "Sorry you saw something that offended you" instead of "Get that stick out of your butt, Miss Prissy Pants." In these 23 raucous essays Ellis transforms herself into a dominatrix Donna Reed to save her marriage, inadvertently steals a $795 Burberry trench coat, witnesses a man fake his own death at a party, avoids a neck lift, and finds a black-tie gown that gives her the confidence of a drag queen.
While she may have left her home in Alabama, married a New Yorker, forgotten how to drive, and abandoned the puffy headbands of her youth, Ellis is clinging to her Southern accent like mayonnaise to white bread, and offering readers a hilarious, completely singular view on womanhood for both sides of the Mason-Dixon.
Helen Ellis is the acclaimed author of Eating the Cheshire Cat and American Housewife. She is a poker player who competes on the national tournament circuit. Raised in Alabama, she lives with her husband in New York City.
Kate Whitman is Vice President of Author and Family Programs at the Atlanta History Center.
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