By Elizabeth Benedict

Ask a girl approximately her hair, and he or she simply may well let you know the tale of her existence. Ask lots of of ladies approximately their hair, and also you might get a heritage of the realm. unbelievable, insightful, often humorous, and regularly forthright, the essays in Me, My Hair, and that i are reflections and revelations approximately each point of women’s lives from family members, race, faith, and motherhood to tradition, healthiness, politics, and sexuality.

They happen in African American kitchens, at Hindu Bengali weddings, and within Hasidic Jewish houses. The dialog is intimate and worldwide right now. Layered into those memories are tributes to impacts all through heritage: Jackie Kennedy, Lena Horne, Farrah Fawcett, the thankful useless, and Botticelli’s Venus.

The lengthy and the fast of it really is that our hair is our glory—and our nemesis, our heritage, our vainness, our pleasure, our mortality. each girl is aware that many stuff in lifestyles topic greater than hair, yet few carry as a lot excitement as a truly nice hairdo.

"A remarkable learn for these folks who obsess approximately our hair. Or those that dwell with these folks who do. a suite that’s, I dare say, a lower above the rest.” —Mary Morris, writer of The Jazz Palace

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Extra info for Me, My Hair, and I: Twenty-seven Women Untangle an Obsession

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Marianne poses at her easel in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) for photographer Julia Cameron. Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons With her mule’s hooves encased in shoes of muck, Marianne lurched from side to side as if her mount were drunk. When the mule team reached a deep mud hole, the mules sank past their bellies and had to be hauled out by their heads and tails. Marianne not only accepted these hardships with a spirit of adventure, she also carefully observed the plants and animals they passed by in the lush Brazilian forest.

Sophia Scott was born in 1972 in Homewood, Illinois, a southern suburb of Chicago where she was raised by her Japanese mother and African American father. Her parents were strictly the “indoorsy” types, so Sophia grew up without any experience hiking or camping. Living in the heart of the Midwest, she was hundreds of miles from the nearest high mountains, so the idea of climbing a peak was not something that young Sophia even considered doing. As a natural athlete, Sophia enjoyed playing basketball, but her hopes of excelling in the sport were dashed when she remained short in stature while her teammates continued to grow taller.

The professor suffered from altitude sickness, and the sandal-clad porters understandably refused to trek through the deep snow. Annie was bitterly disappointed at having to turn back. Annie’s next choice was another high Peruvian peak, Huascarán, thought to be between 23,000 and 24,000 feet high. To get to this remote mountain region 450 miles south of Lima, Annie had to travel via train, boat, and finally on horseback to the town of Yungay. From there, at the foot of the mountain, she gazed upward in awe.

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