Do you listen to Mitski and like to make men cry? Here are 10 books you should read...
It is easy to spot a Female Manipulator. They have a sad taste in indie movies and music, wear too many rings, and you don't need to tell them your zodiac sign–they already know it. A Female Manipulator will make you obsessed with her while she makes you cry. She's the worst, so she's the best. If you dream of becoming a Female Manipulator too, here is what you should be reading:
1. My Year of Rest and Relaxation - Ottessa Moshfegh
Ottessa Moshfegh often tells stories that star “nasty” female characters. This book centers on a woman who is gross, mean, and just unlikeable––but so what? In this world, there is little we can control, so our main character sleeps for a year to escape life’s pain.
2. The Secret History - Donna Tartt
A group of eccentric misfits at an elite New England college push the boundaries of normal morality and slip into lives of evil. This book is full of terrible people, just like all people are. But despite their awfulness, you can’t help but identify and sympathize with everyone in this book.
3. The Woman Destroyed - Simone de Beauvoir
This book contains three novellas, each telling the story of a different woman––all of whom are in crisis. They all live challenging lives, mostly because the men in their lives are the ones creating the challenges. De Beauvoir delves into life beyond the male gaze, losing passion and intimacy, and rediscovering self and body.
4. Just Kids - Patti Smith
This is a love story, both romantic and platonic, of Patti Smith and Robert Mapplethorpe. This book is found in the tote bag of every Female-Manipulator-NYC-alt-kid, right next to a tangle of earbuds and a loose cigarette. It is the romance between people, but also the romance of New York’s art scene in the 1960’s and 70’s.
5. Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
We all know the story of Lolita: a grown man pedo-romantic falls in love with twelve-year-old Lolita. When audiences read this they could be fooled into thinking this is a story of a tragic romance. The Female Manipulator reads Lolita and is not fooled, and does not feel bad for the leading man. Rather, she reads this as a story of a sad broken man who falls in love with a girl, who is just that–a literal girl. A child. It is not a tragic love story, it is just a tragic story.
6. The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
A woman who seems to have everything––beauty, intelligence, talent––falls into the pits of despair. Esther Greenwood navigates a sexist society and we, the readers, navigate her mind in existential crisis.
7. Girl, Interrupted - Susanna Kaysen
“Was insanity just a matter of dropping the act?” - Susanna Kaysen
In her memoir, Susanna Kaysen was put in a taxi and sent to McLean Hospital, the same psychiatric hospital famous for treating Sylvia Plath. This book explores the “parallel universes” of mental illness and womanhood. It’s set in the tumultuous time period of the 1960’s––and the movie adaptation of the book stars Angelina Jolie and Winona Ryder…
8. To The Lighthouse - Virginia Woolf
Virginia Woolf’s masterpiece is an attack on the ‘masculine intelligence’ by making fun of male opinions of women. Men in this book are constantly making fun of how silly women are, while lusting after them and falling at the feet of the leading lady, Mrs. Ramsay.
9. Play It as It Lays - Joan Didion
Set in Hollywood, Las Vegas, and the eerily barren Mojave desert––Joan Didion tells the unforgettable and haunting story of a woman in a society being pulled apart at the seams.
10. Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
For the romantic Female Manipulator (who also likes to feel superior by reading literary classics). Pride and Prejudice is a tale of two lovers who fight-flirt their way into a happily ever after. It’s hot and romantic and oh-so British.