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Women Behaving Badly

Martha McPhee


Three take their lives; one is sent back to the gutter, one loses her child and discovers true love too late. I am drawn to them because they won’t be stopped by their sex. They will not obey the rules of society. They are driven to get what they desire while society uses norms and expectations and also the power of money to hold them hostage. All five are uniquely poised to reveal hypocrisy; it is theirs to take on and define – even if they must be punished. Life is different for them simply because they are women who desire. If they were men, their stories would not be stories. As I wrote my fourth novel, Dear Money, about a cash-strapped novelist who is transformed into a mortgage-backed securities trader, Pygmalion-like, by a Wall Street tycoon – about a woman who casts aside her family and her art for the pursuit of cold, hard cash – I thought a lot about my five heroines. In the first decade of the 21st century, could a female character seek and get exactly what she pleases (earn a substantial living in order to provide for her family), which is, of course, nothing more than so many men do every day of their lives? Can she do that without be labeled bad? I wondered, Are we there yet?

About the Author

Martha McPhee