Synopses & Reviews
For nearly 30 years, Madonna has been at the center of the media spotlight. She has sold more than 200 million records worldwide, launched her own record label, headlined an Oscar-award-winning film, authored bestselling books for both adults and children, inspired global street-fashion trends, and instigated international debates over a range of feminist issues from sexual fetish to adoption ethics. Masterfully harnessing her talent and power to navigate her ascent to stardom, she has become the very definition of iconic.
She has also been a constant companion. In Madonna and Me, more than forty women write about Madonnas influence on their lives. No subject goes unexploredfrom sex and money to fashion and identity, the stories are just as brazen, bold, and balls-to-the-wall as Madonna. They explore the evolution of her chameleonlike personasmaterial girl and boy-toy” tartlet, kooky Kabbalist and savvy businesswoman, siren and motherand her impact on culture as a groundbreaking feminist.
Of course, not all women worship at her altar, and likewise the essays in Madonna and Me are brutally honest, funny, engaging, and real. They delve into the hearts, souls, memories, and moments of contemporary women, celebrating the ways in which Madonna has inspired us and challenged us, pushing us to be bolder, edgier, braver versions of ourselves.
"As freelance writer Valenti observes in the intro to this collection of essays, 'When it comes to Madonna, there's nary a woman who lacks for an opinion.... She's not stagnant, so why should any of our thoughts about her be?' Jamia Wilson condemns the efforts of Catholic organizations to 'crucify Madonna,' noting, 'I respect the way she has transformed our culture and changed our conversation about the inextricable linkage of religion, sexuality, and the feminine divine.... She is a saint and a sinner, the mirror of us all.' Kristin McGonigle reflects, 'We both came from a Catholic upbringing where sexuality was oppressed and women came into adulthood with a confused and shameful sense of their relationship to their bodies and sex.' Marisela Huerta recalls, 'Even mentioning sex in our house was taboo, but Madonna showed me it was OK for a woman to express her sexuality, OK for a woman to be successful, independent of a man.' Such redundancies abound in these essays, but they amplify the influence the performer had on a generation. She rose to fame when many of these women were entering their teens, and these memoirs reveal that Madonna's mix of spirituality and raw sensuality had a considerable impact in shaping attitudes." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Praise for Madonna and Me
"These memoirs reveal that Madonnas mix of spirituality and raw sensuality had a considerable impact in shaping attitudes." Publishers Weekly
"For someone who has spent the past 30 years defending Madonna to whoever would listen, Madonna and Me is like a homecoming. Reading these smart, funny, and moving essays by women who were influenced by the material girl brought me right back to my school years, when I was touched by Madonna for the very first time." Debbie Stoller, editor-in-chief of BUST magazine and bestselling author of Stich 'n Bitch
"The writers in Madonna and Me explore all that Madonna has meant to more than one generation of feisty, feminist, powerful women. They dive right into her music, persona, and legacy, expressing themselves in ways that would surely give even Her Madgesty food for thought." Rachel Kramer Bussel, editor of Women in Lust and the Best Sex Writing series
"In Madonna and Me, editor Laura Barcella shows how Madonna has become a cultural benchmark for women of varying backgrounds. Reaching far beyond pop-culture critique, the essays in this book examine Madonnaboth the woman and the legendas an allegory of the modern female experience." Steve Lowenthal, music writer for SPIN and Village Voice, and founder of Swingset magazine
"Finally, an anthology that speaks to the blisteringly potent influence Madonna has had on women of our generation."Julie Klausner, author of I Don't Care About Your Band
"When I first heard the song Everybody in 1982, I ran right out and bought the cas-single. Now, thirty years later, I greedily read everything about Madonna I can get my hands on. Madonna is one of those rare public figures who elicit a lifelong, intensely personal fixation, making this collection of essays a giddy pleasure. By turns hilarious, thought-provoking, and touching, Madonna and Me is a fitting salute to the smart, brash, occasionally infuriating provocateur, who is always offering us something new." Jancee Dunn, music journalist for Rolling Stone, Vogue, The New York Times, and GQ, and author of Why is My Mother Getting a Tattoo? And Other Questions I Wish I Never Had to Ask
"Madonna and Me is a collection as saucy and savvy as Madonna herself. In heartfelt and incisive ways, the contributors engage with an icon who deeply impacted the identities, sexual and otherwise, of an entire generation of girls.” Jillian Lauren, author of the New York Times bestselling memoir Some Girls: My Life in a Harem
"Sure, one Madonna gave birth to Jesus . . . but our Madonna gave birth to femme-inism. If you've forgotten why you should worship Madge, this hilarious, provocative collection is like a prayer to the patron saint of girl power."
Jennifer Baumgardner, bestselling author of Manifesta, Look Both Ways, and F 'em!
Madonna and Me can easily hold the interest of non-Madonna-fans and even male readers, which is (sadly) no small feat. Highly recommended for anyone interested in music, pop culture, women's lives, and smart personal essays with heart.” Scott Lapatine, founder of Stereogum.com
Read exclusive essays by Jessica Valenti from 2009