Set your calendars for Jan. 29! Best-selling author Alisa Valdes is coming to campus to discuss her transition from Pulitzer-nominated reporter at The Boston Globe and Los Angeles Times to author of "The Dirty Girls Social Club," which spent 21 weeks on the New York Times best-seller list. She was named one of Time Magazine's 25 Most Influential Hispanics in America and now writes women's fiction and teen fiction.
Alisa will be here from 3:30 to 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 29 in BLB 170. Her new book, The Feminist and the Cowboy, will be on sale.
In THE FEMINIST AND THE COWBOY: An Unlikely Love Story (Gotham Books, Hardcover, E-book, January 7, 2013) Alisa Valdes meets (and falls in love with) a man who teaches her to look at love from an alternative perspective; taking a closer look at the ways women and men approach love and romance in a post-feminist America. Once included in an anthology of the nation’s top young feminist writers, Alisa, thanks to a manly cowboy, is standing up and saying, “Hang on ladies, we’ve got some of this wrong.”
Feminism was a religion in Alisa Valdes’ childhood home, and her hippie, academic Marxist parents raised her to believe that she was cut out for better things than playing with Barbie dolls and learning to bake. For her 12th birthday gift from her mother, she got a cardboard box full of feminist works by Erica Jong, Betty Friedan and Gloria Steinem. Her resume reads like a testament to the success of her liberal feminist upbringing: graduate of Berklee College of Music (as a jazz saxophonist) and Columbia Graduate School of Journalism; writer for the Boston Globe where she was nominated for three Pulitzers and recognized as one of the nation’s top feminist writers by age 30; author of the bestselling debut novel, The Dirty Girls’ Social Club; named by Time magazine as one of the “25 most influential Hispanics in America.”
But in spite of so much professional success, at age 42, Alisa found herself bitter and divorced and came to the harsh-realization that some of the same “skills” that made her successful in business, were ruining her in her personal relationships. After trying online dating and many painful first dates with less than ideal men, Alisa found herself falling head-over-spurs in love with the last man she ever expected to date: The Cowboy, an honest-to-goodness conservative rancher who drives a pick-up with a gun rack and a pistol under the front seat.
After several exchanges with The Cowboy, Alisa realized the guy she thought she wanted (liberal, well-educated, corporate, etc.) was not the guy she wanted at all. Alisa was suddenly aware of the damage her extreme feminist upbringing had wreaked on her personal and sexual relationships.
From their very first date, The Cowboy makes her pulse race and her blood boil, forcing her to reevaluate everything she thought she wanted in a man. Alisa finds her entire belief system turned upside down by The Cowboy, and realizes that maybe to let go, relax and trust, as a woman isn’t so bad after all. She has finally met her match in intelligence, insight, and wisdom, and it doesn’t hurt that he has the rugged good looks of someone who just stepped out of a Ralph Lauren ad.
After learning and loving with The Cowboy, Alisa found ‘Difference Feminism’; which simply put means men and women are different, and being different makes us complementary and equal versions of the same species, and that together, men and women must “form a communion of persons to exist mutually one for the other.” After a lifetime of strict feminist ways, Alisa advocates for relationships grounded in difference feminism.
As Alisa says, “If you want to feel fulfilled in love, if you want to find true, lasting romantic love with a man worthy of you, you’re going to have to get it through your head that all the tricks feminism taught us that get us ahead at work will doom us in love if we bring them home.” Through butting heads (and falling in love!) with the conservative cowboy, Alisa realized the idea that liberated her most: Women (and men) will never find happiness in love until they stop thinking everything has to be fair and equal. It’s not about fair. It’s not about equal. It’s about nature.
Told with humor and candor, THE FEMINIST AND THE COWBOY is the true love-story of a tough, progressive city chick who reclaims her womanhood and learns to love with her guard down.
THE FEMINIST AND THE COWBOY: An Unlikely Love Story Gotham Hardcover || On-sale: January 7, 2013 ALSO AVAILABLE AS AN E-BOOK
About the Author: Alisa Valdes is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of commercial women’s fiction and teen fiction, including her bestselling debut novel The Dirty Girls Social Club, which spent 21 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list. Named one of Time magazine’s 25 Most Influential Hispanics in America, she has a Master’s in Journalism from Columbia University and is a Pulitzer-nominated award-winning former staff writer for the Boston Globe and Los Angeles Times. She is also a graduate of Berklee College of Music (as a jazz saxophonist).
About Gotham Books: Gotham Books, a nonfiction imprint of Penguin Group (USA), was launched in 2003 by industry veteran William Shinker. Penguin Group (USA) Inc. is one of the leading U.S. adult and children’s trade book publishers, owning a wide range of imprints and trademarks, including Berkley Books, Dutton, Frederick Warne, G.P. Putnam’s Sons, Gotham Books, Grosset & Dunlap, New American Library, Penguin, Penguin Press, Philomel, Riverhead Books, and Viking, among others. Penguin Group is owned by Pearson plc, the international media group.