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Truth, Wisdom, Women & Hair

I love this review from the Chicago Tribune of Me, My Hair and I by Heidi Stevens. Here's the opening:
"Truth and wisdom do such a delightful dance throughout "Me, My Hair, And I" that you finish the essay collection wondering why we don't spend more time, not less, obsessing over our tresses.
"Ask a woman about her hair," writes Elizabeth Benedict, "and she just might tell you the story of her life."
"Benedict, an Iowa Writers' Workshop coach and the author of five novels, did just that, gathering essays from a diverse group of 27 female writers, including Anne Lamott, Jane Smiley, Maria Hinojosa and Suleika Jaouad." READ MORE


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Great Silver Hair Story from a Reader

I was delighted to receive this story from a reader in response to my call for stories about going gray, or as we say around here, silver. Got one you want on this blog? It can be with or without your name - entirely your choice. Email me at info@ElizabethBenedict.com and I'll consider it. 

In the meantime, here's one I really identify with - especially all the ambivalence - should I, shouldn't I? Thanks for sharing with us!


"I am a 37 year old brunette who has never colored my hair. Prior to having any grays, I never thought my hair was my best feature, so I didn’t want to spend the time/money in the salon coloring it. It simply wasn’t a big deal to me.
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"Let it Be" by Cordelia Manning

I'm delighted to post this piece on "going gray" in response to a public invitation to readers of Me, My Hair and I: Twenty-seven Women Untangle an Obsession. Reader Cordelia Manning sent in this lovely piece and titled it "Let It Be." It's more evidence that our hair is a deeply personal public/private matter that has the power to make us reflect on our entire lives. The wonder is that Cordelia Manning has done it so succinctly here. Thank you!

"I was a much adored child: first grandchild on both sides; first child of my parents; first niece of all my aunts and uncles. I was the one they had all waited for and I was showered with love and attention. Even later, after my siblings and cousins arrived, I was the first and eldest, the special one.

"I like to think all that attention was wonderful, nurturing, but in fact they were all always fussing over me. My hair was too long, short, or thick, my skin was too fair and freckled, my eyebrows too heav…

"This Glowing Collection of Essays...."

BOOK PAGE just published a wonderful review of Me, My Hair and I.  A taste from the beginning:

“Gorgeous hair is the best revenge,” said Ivana Trump, she of the platinum blonde, sky-high hair. Hair as tool of revenge, as obsession, as embarrassment, as source of pride: Why does a long string of protein absorb so much of our attention?"

and the end:


"Thought-provoking and insightful, Me, My Hair, and I is a must-read for anyone who has ever dealt with frizz, gray hair, mothers insisting we get a haircut, fathers insisting we not, hair envy or hair disasters. In short, all of us." READ MORE Reviewer Amy Scribner mentions essays by contributors Suleika Jaouad, Alex Kuczynski, Hallie Ephron, Jane Green, Jane Smiley, Adriana Trigiani, and Anne Lamott.