Somebody With a Little Hammer

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  • Edition: Reprint
  • Format: Trade Paper
  • Copyright: 2018-04-17
  • Publisher: Vintage

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Supplemental Materials

What is included with this book?


In essays on matters literary, social, cultural, and personal, Mary Gaitskill explores date rape and political adultery, the transcendentalism of the Talking Heads, the melancholy of Björk, and the playfulness of artist Laurel Nakadate. She celebrates the clownish grandiosity and the poetry of Norman Mailer’s long career and maps the sociosexual cataclysm embodied by porn star Linda Lovelace. Witty, wide-ranging, tender, and beautiful, Somebody with a Little Hammer displays the same heat-seeking, revelatory understanding for which Gaitskill’s writing has always been known.

Author Biography

Mary Gaitskill is the author of the story collections Bad Behavior, Because They Wanted To (nominated for the PEN/Faulkner Award), and Don’t Cry, and the novels The Mare, Veronica (nominated for the National Book Award), and Two Girls, Fat and Thin. Her stories and essays have appeared in The New Yorker, Harper’s, Artforum, and Granta, among many other journals, as well as in The Best American Short Stories and The O. Henry Prize Stories.

Table of Contents

A Lot of Exploding Heads
On Reading the Book of Revelation 

The Trouble with Following the Rules
On “Date Rape,” “Victim Culture,” and Personal Responsibility 

A Lovely Chaotic Silliness
A Review of The Fermata by Nicholson Baker 

Toes ’n Hose
A Review of From the Tip of the Toes to the Top of the Hose by Elmer Batters, and Nothing But the Girl, edited by Susie Bright and Jill Posener 

Crackpot Mystic Spirit
A Review of Invisible Republic: Bob Dylan’s Basement Tapes by Greil Marcus 

A Review of Bitch: In Praise of Difficult Women by Elizabeth Wurtzel 

Dye Hard
A Review of Blonde by Joyce Carol Oates 

Mechanical Rabbit
A Review of Licks of Love by John Updike 

I’ve Seen It All
Thoughts on a Song by Björk 

And It Would Not Be Wonderful to Meet a Megalosaurus
On Bleak House by Charles Dickens 

Remain in Light
On the Talking Heads 

Victims and Losers: A Love Story
Thoughts on the Movie Secretary 

The Bridge
A Memoir of Saint Petersburg 

Somebody with a Little Hammer
On Teaching “Gooseberries” by Anton Chekhov 

Enchantment and Cruelty
On Peter Pan by J. M. Barrie 

Worshipping the Overcoat
An Election Diary 

This Doughty Nose
On Norman Mailer’s An American Dream and The Armies of the Night 

Lost Cat
A Memoir 

I See Their Hollowness
A Review of Cockroach by Rawi Hage 

Lives of the Hags
A Review of Baba Yaga Laid an Egg by Dubravka Ugresic 

Leave the Woman Alone!
On the Never-Ending Political Extramarital Scandals 

Master’s Mind
A Review of Agaat by Marlene van Niekerk 

Imaginary Light
A Song Called “Nowhere Girl” 

Form over Feeling
A Review of Out by Natsuo Kirino 

Beg for Your Life
On the Films of Laurel Nakadate 

The Cunning of Women
On One Thousand and One Nights by Hanan al-Shaykh 

Pictures of Lo
On Covering Lolita 

The Easiest Thing to Forget
On Carl Wilson’s Let’s Talk About Love 

She’s Supposed to Make You Sick
A Review of Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn 

On Linda Lovelace 

That Running Shadow of Your Voice
On Nabokov’s Letters to Véra 


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