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11 January 2010


Looking forward to reading this book! What I also love about waitresses is how they are so often portrayed in fiction. I just finished The Diary of a Witness (for middle school readers), and it has a short scene with a sympathetic waitress. I'm trying to think if I ever read a book where the waitress was coldhearted. It's almost stereotypical of the cigarette smoking, hard ass waitress with a heart of gold. Good characterization is the least writers can do for these hardworking people. Also, check out the Waitress Song by Freakwater. Love it.

In the novel "Of Human Bondage", Mildred is a waitress when the protagonist first meets here. She definitely did not have a heart of gold.

Boy! I read Of Human Bondage so long ago, I can't remember the mean waitress. Looks like I have a book to reread. Why can I never remember fiction???

On more of a popular culture note, wasn't Carrie Ann Moss's character in Memento a waitress? Or maybe a barmaid? I recall she was not nice at all!

I love books about waitresses, I don't care if they're nice or cranky. This one reminded me of Debra Ginsberg's memoir "Waiting," about her career as a waitress, and one of my all-time favorite books. Will check out the Freakwater tune.

Ruthiella, Venta,
I didn't remember that about the waitress in OHB either. I remember liking the book, and thinking the main guy character was kind of a jerk, but maybe I've got that wrong. Maybe it's time to re-read.

That could be too (re: Carrie Ann Moss being a waitress). Boy, my memory is shot. I saw Memento too but can't remember what her character was. The author in this Counter Culture book actually points out that several of the waitresses she talked to weren't known for being nice at all--but that their customers enjoyed their grouchiness. I wonder how to pull that off.

Hi Venta,

You might consider saving yourself some time and just rent the movie with Bette Davis. The book is considered a "classic", but I found it a bit of a slog. Also in the book, Mildred becomes a prostitute...and yet still, no heart of gold.

I have this book at home right now! I bought it for the library :) I can't wait to get into it. I love books about real people. (And I believe her character worked in a bar in Memento)

Ooh, Beth, good purchase for your library. I couldn't decide what I liked better--the pictures or the text. They were both so good!

Thanks :) I try my best to buy art and photography books when I can. The library is in a very blue collar area, so I thought this one fit the bill.

read counter culture last night and loved it. the women's stories were amazing! it was interesting to see the similarities and differences in the experiences of the very different women. highly recommended :)

After reading the book, I searched to see if anyone had written about it, and found you! Great, great review. I linked to your post on my book report. Such a wonderful book.

I'm so glad you loved it! It's a great book.

I just read and enjoyed your review as well (yours was much meatier!!). Thanks for the link, too. I'm glad you found this one. Have you seen another university press book titled "Hey, Waitress!" I forget the author, and it didn't have as many pictures (I think it had a few, but black and white), but it was kind of a fun oral history too.

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