Melissa Bank Interview, plus links to author biography, book summaries, excerpts and reviews

Melissa Bank

Melissa Bank

An interview with Melissa Bank

Join us in a brief conversation with Melissa Bank as she discusses The Girls’ Guide as it relates to “single-women titles” and whether a writer’s gender is relevant to a work of modern fiction.

Q. The women in The Girls' Guide have a hard time resisting stereotypically feminine behavior. Is it harder for women to resist girlie clichés than for men to resist macho ones? How does the battle differ?

A. Everybody has had a Jamie boyfriend, the rudderless young guy, the free spirit. How do you explain the incredible consistency of the contemporary romantic experience?

Q. Prefacing your interview in Salon, Cynthia Joyce made reference to "a slew of other recently published single-women titles." Is this a new genre? What's the literary legacy behind it? How would you say writers like Jane Austen or Sylvia Plath relate to this new work from women writers? How would you characterize this new wave of female voices?

A. How is a writer's gender relevant to a work of modern fiction? We've had women's magazines for a long time, but now there are women's Web sites and women's cable channels, among other girl-centric media. What are your views about this trend? Is there such a thing as a women's movie or book?

Q. Do you feel that The Girls' Guide is a feminist book? Why or why not?

A. Nature is mostly absent from Jane's world. She loves dogs and the beach, but Nature with a capital N doesn't come up much. In what ways are the stories, and Jane, defined by the city environment.

Unless otherwise stated, this interview was conducted at the time the book was first published, and is reproduced with permission of the publisher. This interview may not be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the copyright holder.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Your Duck Is My Duck
    Your Duck Is My Duck
    by Deborah Eisenberg
    In this collection of six short stories, Deborah Eisenberg presents characters confronting limits ...
  • Book Jacket: Unsheltered
    Unsheltered
    by Barbara Kingsolver
    Willa Knox's house is falling down. She recently inherited a Victorian residence in Vineland, ...
  • Book Jacket: Buried Beneath the Baobab Tree
    Buried Beneath the Baobab Tree
    by Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani
    Ya Ta, the main character in Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani's novel, Buried Beneath the Baobab Tree, ...
  • Book Jacket: The Boneless Mercies
    The Boneless Mercies
    by April Genevieve Tucholke
    The Mercies are assassins, part of a long tradition of killers who serve to end the suffering of the...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
Code Girls
by Liza Mundy

The riveting story of the USA's courageous and accomplished WWII female American code breakers.

About the book
Join the discussion!

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    The Kennedy Debutante
    by Kerri Maher

    "An engrossing tale of family, faith and love in the life of one remarkable woman." - Booklist
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win Gone So Long

Andre Dubus III's First Novel in a Decade

A masterpiece of thrilling tension and heartrending empathy.

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

G H E Rope A H Will H H

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.