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The Bag Lady Papers: The Priceless Experience of Losing It Allby Alexandra Penney
Synopses & Reviews
In December 2008, my worst nightmare came true . . .
How do you pick yourself up after the one thing you most feared happens to you? Alexandra Penney's revealing, spirited, and ultimately redemptive true story shows us how.
Throughout her life, Alexandra Penney's worst fear was of becoming a bag lady. Even as she worked several jobs while raising a son as a single mother, wrote a bestselling advice book, and became editor in chief of Self magazine, she was haunted by the image of herself alone, bankrupt, and living on the street. She even went to therapy in an attempt to alleviate the worry that all she had worked for could crumble.
And then, one day, that's exactly what happened.
Penney had taken a friend's advice and invested nearly everything she had ever earned--all of her savings--with Bernie Madoff. One day she was successful and wealthy; the next she had almost nothing. Suddenly, at an age when many Americans retire, Penney saw her worst nightmares coming true. Based on her popular blog posts on The Daily Beast, this memoir chronicles Penney's struggle to cope with the devastating financial and emotional fallout of being cheated out of her life savings and illuminates her journey back to sanity, solvency, and security.
I will work harder than I ever have before-which was pretty hard indeed-and see what happens. I have the feeling something good will come of it: tough, challenging work and laserlike focus have always paid off for me... Was it better to have it and then lose it? Yes, yes, yes! Even though I lived with horrible bag lady fears of losing it all, now that those financial fears have materialized, I'm in good shape and looking to what's next. Experiences-good and bad, exciting and boring, tragic and absurd-make up a life. Not to have lived to the fullest is the saddest, most irresponsible life I can think of. Book jacket.
Table of Contents
December 11, 2008 — AAA : Activity Alleviates Anxiety — There is no such word as NO — Rich bitch : Madoff + 24 hours — Roadtrip with "the girls" : Madoff + 2 weeks — Urgency at all costs! — There IS such word as No — Copy shop collapse : Madoff + 3 weeks — Change is good : my fishmonger days — The kindness of friends and strangers : Madoff + 5 weeks — Everyone has a story to tell — If you think you have no options, think again — My new life as a person of reduced circumstances (PoRC) : Madoff+ 5 weeks — How to make love to a man — What money can and cannot buy : Madoff + 6 weeks — How to heal a broken heart — Real estate woes : Madoff + 2 months — The pink ribbon — What can I live without? : Madoff + 2 months — What the bag lady really fears — How to look and feel good when recently broke — The bag lady throws a party.
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