cover image The Bust Guide to the New Girl Order

The Bust Guide to the New Girl Order

. Penguin Books, $18 (376pp) ISBN 978-0-14-027774-6

In 1993, self-described ""cubicle slaves"" Karp and Stoller, along with their friend Laurie Henzel, produced the first issue of Bust, a smart, slick and often hilarious 'zine by and for women in their 20s and 30s who, after growing up with second-wave feminist mothers and Madonna, feel let down by traditional women's magazines. This anthology provides a healthy sample of offerings from the magazine, which is still being published.. Written under pen names (""Tabitha Rasa,"" ""Simone de Boudoir""), the essays often start with the body and boy talk that is the clich d subject matter of women's magazines, but they subvert the dominant media viewpoint with searing, deeply personal writing. Demonstrating that the personal really is political, the collection reflects a refreshingly egalitarian outlook, featuring the voices of young women of different races and classes, some more educated than others, but none too self-conscious. Arranging their material by topic (sex, men, becoming a mother, beauty, etc.), the editors introduce each section with simultaneously pithy and funny feminist analysis. Often controversial, the collection includes interviews with porn stars, happily adopts the term ""do-me feminist"" and uses the word ""girl"" to describe grownups. Ultimately, Bust supports women's right to pursue whatever they find fulfilling. Adeptly capturing its cultural moment, this vibrant anthology is a must-read for those who consider themselves versed in all things pop. Agent, Lydia Wills. 8-city author tour. (Aug.)