Motherhood Made a Man Out of Me

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$17.95  $16.69
Hawthorne Books
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5.5 X 0.6 X 8.9 inches | 0.7 pounds
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About the Author

Karen Karbo is the author of 14 award-winning novels, memoirs, and works of nonfiction, including the best-selling Kick Ass Women series: Julia Child Rules, How Georgia Became O'Keeffe, The Gospel According to Coco Chanel, and How to Hepburn. Her 2004 memoir, The Stuff of Life, about the last year she spent with her father before his death, was a New York Times Notable Book, a People Magazine Critics' Choice, a Books for a Better Life Award finalist, and a winner of the Oregon Book Award for Creative Nonfiction. Her short stories, essays, articles, and reviews have appeared in Elle, Vogue, Esquire, Outside, The New York Times, Salon, and other magazines. She lives in Portland, OR.

Whitney Otto is the author of five novels: How To Make an American Quilt, which was a New York Times Best Seller (as well as other bestseller lists) and New York Times Notable Book; nominated for the Los Angeles Times Art Seidenbaum Award, and adapted into a feature film produced by Steven Spielberg. Now You See Her was nominated for an Oregon Book Award, and optioned for film. The Passion Dream Book was a Los Angeles Times bestseller, optioned for a film, and an Oregonian Book Club selection. A Collection of Beauties at the Height of Their Popularity was a Multnomah County Library selection. Eight Girls Taking Pictures was published by Scribner. Her novels have been published in fourteen languages. Her work has also appeared in anthologies, magazines and The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle and The Oregonian.


Karen Karbo is a very funny writer - from near slapstick to wry wit. Amazing. -The New York Times

Praise for Motherhood Made a Man Out of Me: A Novel
Brilliant! The righteous, thoroughly American Karen Karbo delivers a swift kick in the kegels to those sappy What to Expect When You're Expecting moms in her funny and appallingly honest novel Motherhood Made a Man Out of Me.
Vanity Fair

In order to transcend the monolithic mommy story you have to reach down in there and wrestle it away from the mouth of American culture. Karen Karbo's Motherhood Made a Man Out of Me does the hard work of giving our bodies and lives back to us. If you are any kind of mother, like me, or if your own mother is part of your life story, read this book. I wish Dr. Spock would have.
Lidia Yuknavitch, The Chronology of Water

Karbo (The Diamond Lane) is at her best writing tongue-in-cheek riffs on sports and modern life and manages a successful marriage of the two in her sassy, satirical new novel. (She) relishes her characters' war stories of pregnancy and labor; the novel, without taking itself too seriously, proves in its cheeky details a fun (and accurate) sendup of the timeless trials of womanhood.
Publishers Weekly

Karbo's third novel (after The Diamond Lane and Trespassers Welcome Here) is an uproariously funny yet frank take on modern motherhood. While she carves her commentary with a razor wit, the author serves up equally sharp insights into the intense kinship among pregnant women and new mothers. Karbo... has a topnotch ear for dialog and a sense of humor. This gem will keep readers in stitches from beginning to end and belongs in every public library.
Library Journal

Is there any aspect to being a mom -- stretch marks, fat sagging over the top of the elastic waistband, baby spit-up everywhere -- that Erma Bombeck hasn't already trampled into the ground? Fortunately, yes. Motherhood Made a Man Out Of Me should be clutched to the 'corn-silo-sized' breasts of every new mother.
The New York Times

[A] witty and astringent take on motherhood, crackles with insights and humor...
Kirkus Reviews

If Carrie Fisher wrote with depth as well as wit, she would probably turn out to be Karen Karbo.
Seattle Times

Motherhood Made a Man Out of Me is a funny, wise novel about more than simply gender. Karbo uses her wonderful narrative voice and her penetrating wit to find her way to the universal secrets of the self.
Robert Olen Butler, A Small Hotel

The subject of pregnancy and motherhood so easily lends itself to laughter though it has taken a novel as good as Karbo's to remind us of that fact. But the beauty of her book is that underneath the lightness is a deeper, moving tru6th that never lapses into sentimentalist. She's our Erma Bombeck - a funny, uncensored chronicler of what happens after the fairy tale ends and life begins.
Whitney Otto, How to Make An American Quilt

Praise for The Diamond Lane
A flawless, page-turning story...this is a tale to treasure.
Publishers Weekly

A wonderfully comic novel about savvy Hollywood outsiders trying to get in... not only is the plot ingenious, but the writing remains deft all the way through.
The New York Times

It is a testament to Karbo's skill at high comedy that the ending of this book - a funeral rather than a wedding - leaves you smiling.
The New Yorker

This astringent, humorous novel tackles two subjects ripe for satire: the Hollywood movie industry and marriage - both notoriously fickle institutions requiring blind hope to sustain life.
The Los Angeles Times

This kind of novel is a devil to pull off...and Ms. Karbo has done her job brilliantly.
The New York Times Book Review

Praise for Julia Child Rules: Lessons on Savoring Life
I want to make wallpaper out of this original and beautiful book just so I can have Karbo's unparalleled wit and wisdom always on hand.
Cheryl Strayed, Wild

Praise for How Georgia Became O'Keeffe: Lessons on the Art of Living
In her new book, How Georgia Became O'Keeffe, writer Karen Karbo traces the life of a Midwestern farm girl as she becomes a self-assured art world phenomenon and an utter original. Here Karbo shares insights for any woman hoping to follow Georgia's lead. Aim High. At the age of 12, O'Keeffe was already telling people she planned to become an artist, even though, Karbo writes, that was the "equivalent of a modern preteen girl aspiring to be an army five-star general or an NFL quarterback.
Let Your Freak Flag Fly

"With her fabulous rawboned frame, straggly brows, and schoolmarm's bun, her black vestments, man's shoes, and odd assortment of hats and turbans, O'Keeffe was out there," Karbo writes. "After people adjusted to her curious look, they accepted it and expected nothing else."
Play Hard, Work Hard

"Georgia was a proto slacker," writes Karbo. "There were days and weeks when she would read, spend hours tramping around outside, write letters, sew, and play dominoes.... But when Georgia worked, she worked her ass off."
O Magazine

A witty writer.
Elissa Schappell, Vanity Fair

Karen Karbo's fresh and revealing take on the epic life of Georgia O'Keeffe is both effortlessly entertaining and profoundly inspirational.
Sheila Weller, Girls Like Us: Carole King, Joni Mitchell, Carly Simon

[I]ntimate, joyful, and absolutely fun biography...
Julie Metz, New York Times bestseller Perfection

I want to give this book to every young woman I know who's setting out on her own in the world -- not to mention the rest of us...
Meghan Daum, Life Would Be Perfect If I Lived In That House

How perfect that a writer as thoughtful, original, and hilarious as Karen Karbo takes on as a subject as talented, passionate, and fearless Georgia O'Keeffe. The result is a fresh, funny, highly personalized take on "the nation's greatest woman artist," a meticulously researched, page-turning romp through the life of a painter whose days were as bold and unique as her art.
Cathi Hanauer, Sweet Ruin and editor of The Bitch in the House

This intimate, quirky, and sassy essay makes its iconic subject into an accessible, relevant figure with whom readers can identify.
Publisher's Weekly

[T]old with great wit and hilarity throughout. While O'Keeffe is already revered by millions of women and aspiring artists everywhere, Karbo's original, wry analysis is bound to enrich her status even further.
Shelf Awareness

Praise for The Gospel According to Coco Chanel: Life Lessons From the World's Most Elegant Woman
Karbo delivers a mini-biography, with perceptive and amusing commentary... The fashion is merely fascinating, a means to an end. The life lessons? For a woman trying to find a safe haven in America, this book delivers more wisdom -- and wit -- per page than Dr. Phil will dispense in a lifetime.

Reading Karbo is like listening to a dear friend talk about the legendary designer over brunch. This is a fun, insightful look at the genius behind the little black dress.
The Los Angeles Times

Anyone with a good sense of humor should hugely enjoy, or should I say enjoie, Karen Karbo's funny and stylish take on Coco Chanel. Like a little black dress, this handy life guide will take you from day into evening. K.K. on C.C.: oui, oui!
Henry Alford, How to Live: A Search for Wisdom from Old People (While They are Still on This Earth)

Wise, witty, and refreshingly colloquial, The Gospel According to Coco Chanel is an enchanting tour through the complex, often controversial life of fashion icon Chanel. Filled with relevant life lessons for the modern woman, this book is Karbo at her irrepressible best.
Hilary Black, The Secret Currency of Love: The Unabashed Truth About Women, Money, and Relationships

Praise for How to Hepburn: Lessons On Living From Kate The Great
Karbo presents all this heterodox advice with great humor, but there's a point she's making to sister Gen-Xers: Hepburn broke all the rules women were supposed to follow and still had a fabulous life.
Publishers Weekly

These days, women in Hollywood and everywhere else are following [Hepburn's] fiercely independent lead - and Redbook contributing editor Karen Karbo is no exception. Her sassy new book, How to Hepburn: Lessons on Living from Kate the Great explains what we can learn from the iconic leading lady, who makes most of today's heavy-hitting celebrities look pretty lightweight.

Karen Karbo's How to Hepburn: Lessons on Living from Kate the Great strides magnificently before our eyes, much as Hepburn did onscreen. Perhaps because Karbo's mother turned to Hepburn and not Jackie Kennedy as her 1960s household saint, Karbo goes for honesty over hagiography-and still finds much for us to emulate. And Karbo has the same appetite for a good sentence that Hepburn had for life.

Katharine Hepburn died in 2003, four years shy of what would have been her 100th birthday. But if she missed the milestone, the rest of us can now celebrate her centenary, with the cleverly enlightening How to Hepburn: Lessons on Living from Kate the Great. Author-essayist Karen Karbo, who has written novels for both adults and middle-schoolers (kids might know her Minerva Clark mysteries), and nonfiction titles including the stirring The Stuff of Life: A Daughter's Memoir, infuses biographical and historical data, film trivia and contemporary acumen into a lively homage that underscores why Hepburn's name should be a verb.
Book Page

"Women wanting the most out of life need only look to Katherine Hepburn for guidance, says Karen Karbo, author of How to Hepburn: Lessons on Living From Kate the Great, out in May from Bloomsbury. "[She] handily redefined femininity, forced the world to ponder the meaning of marriage and gave generations of women fresh options for surviving middle age and beyond," Karbo says.
Page Six

Karen Karbo manages to come up with some offbeat gems in her witty new book, How to Hepburn.
USA Today

...captures Hollywood mores and largely succeeds as an homage to "Miss Hepburn."
New York Times Book Review

In an interesting blend of self-help book and star biography, novelist Karen Karbo seeks to extract lessons from the life of Katherine Hepburn. How to Hepburn: Lessons on Living from Kate the Great is a fun and spunky take on the life of the star.
Christian Science Monitor

An exuberant celebration of a great original.
The Philadelphia Inquirer