‘’A lot of times, women are labeled as a bitch or a diva for having a vision and being strong and using their voice, and it’s just not the case. You can be strong and be friendly. [We] don’t have to be just one thing.”
Fresh Air book criticMaureen Corrigan reviews What She Ate by Laura Shapiro:
Shapiro’s fascinating new book is called What She Ate, and it focuses on the lives of six women from different centuries and continents — all prominent to different degrees. Among them are Dorothy Wordsworth, the poet’s shy, worshipful sister; Eva Braun, Hitler’s mistress and 11-hour wife; and Helen Gurley Brown, the whippet-thin, legendary editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan.
All six women have been the subjects of earlier biographies, but, as Shapiro points out: “Biography, as it’s traditionally practiced still tends to honor the old fashioned custom of keeping a polite distance from food.” In contrast, Shapiro likens her method of biographical research to “standing in line at the supermarket and peering into the other carts.”