National Book Award finalist Mary Gaitskill’s debut collection, Bad Behavior—powerful stories about dislocation, longing, and desire which depict a disenchanted and rebellious urban fringe generation that is searching for human connection.
Now a classic, Bad Behavior made critical waves when it first published, heralding Gaitskill’s arrival on the literary scene and her establishment as one of the sharpest, erotically charged, and audaciously funny writing talents of contemporary literature. Michiko Kakutani of The New York Times called it “Pinteresque,” saying, “Ms. Gaitskill writes with such authority, such radar-perfect detail, that she is able to make even the most extreme situations seem real…her reportorial candor, uncompromised by sentimentality or voyeuristic charm…underscores the strength of her debut.”
Mary Gaitskill’s novel, Veronica, was nominated for a 2005 National Book Award and was one of The New York Times’s 10 Best Books of 2005. She is also the author of the acclaimed novels Because They Wanted To and Two Girls, Fat and Thin. Her stories and essays have appeared in The New Yorker, Harper’s Magazine, Esquire, The Best American Short Stories (1993), and The O. Henry Prize Stories (1998). Her short story “Secretary” was the basis for the film of the same name. She lives in New York.
"Pinteresque...Ms. Gaitskill writes with such authority, such radar-perfect detail, that she is able to make even the most extreme situations seem real...[her] reportorial candor, uncompromised by sentimentality or voyeuristic charm...underscores the strength of her debut." -- Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times
"Ferocious, terrifying stories, skillful as they are scary. Gaitskill's voice and talents are wonderfully new, as honest as rain, and as welcome in a long, dry season." -- Alice Adams
"A thrilling journey into the deep anxieties of romance and desire...Stunning." -- Frederick Exley
"Stubbornly original, with a sort of rhythm and fine moments that flatten you out when you don't expect it, these stories are a pleasure to read." -- Alice Munro