Rachel Cooke’s Her Brilliant Career


I loved this book by Rachel Cooke — reviewed here in Red. I interviewed Rachel recently at Foyle’s where the general feeling in the audience could be summed up as: “I am going to buy this book for every woman I know for Christmas.” As Rachel more or less put it herself, it’s a sort of Grazia of modern social history. It has a serious point behind it. Why don’t we know the names of these women? Why do we imagine that everyone was a housewife in the 1950s? Why is it surprising that women were able to make the lives they wanted? But it has a wonderful light, gossipy touch that makes it so fun to read. Buy it with Hadley Freeman’s How to Be Awesome if you like someone enough to give them two books. Or – sod it – take the message implicit in both books (“You make your own luck, ladies”) and buy them both for yourself.


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