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Money, A Memoir: Women, Emotions, and Cash
by Liz Perle

Published by Henry Holt

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Do you know more about your best friend's sex life than her financial one?

Long ago, and not entirely consciously, Liz Perle made a quiet contract with cash: She would do what it took to get it -- work hard, marry right -- but she didn't want to have to think about it too much. Ever since she was a young girl, the subject of money had been quietly sidestepped, a shadowy factor whose importance was downplayed and deemed impolite to discuss. This deliberate denial eventually exacted its price, however, when a sudden reversal of fortunes left Perle with no home, no job, a four-year-old, and a box of toys. She realized she could no longer afford to leave her murky and fraught relationship with money unexamined.

What Perle discovered as she reassembled her life, both personally and professionally, was that almost every woman she knew shared her ambivalent feelings about money -- even as it influenced their relationships with their parents, lovers, husbands, children, friends, coworkers, and communities. They also subscribed to a self-defeating code of discretion, which exacted its own price in wages, independence, and opportunity.

In Money, A Memoir, Perle attempts to break through this silence, adding her own story to the anecdotes and insights of psychologists, researchers, and more than two hundred ordinary women. It turned out that when money was the topic, most women needed permission to talk. When she confessed her fears and idiosyncrasies to other women, Perle found, theirs came tumbling out as well. The result is an insightful, unflinching look at the at once subtle and commanding influence of money on our every relationship.

pub date: 2006-02-02 | hardcover | 9780805077124