Of Three Girlhoods--My Mother's, My Father's, and Mine
By Noelle Howey
Picador, Paperback, 9780312422202, 352pp.
Publication Date: May 2003
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Throughout her childhood in suburban Ohio, Noelle struggled to gain love and affection from her distant father. In compensating for her father's brusqueness, Noelle idolized her nurturing tomboy mother and her conservative grandma who tried to turn her into "a little lady." At age fourteen, Noelle's mom told her the family secret: "Dad likes to wear women's clothes." As Noelle copes with a turbulent adolescence, her father begins to metamorphose into the loving parent she had always longed for--only now outfitted in pedal pushers and pink lipstick.
“A profoundly affecting account of her father’s long road to self-realization and a meditation on what it means to be female.”—San Francisco Chronicle Book Review
“[Howey] never loses her sense of humor.... A clever writer, Howey takes this incredible material and creates a witty, warm, life-affirming memoir.”—The Washington Post Book World
“Howey’s voice is chatty and clear, sassy at times, with all the aplomb of somebody used to explaining an unusual family structure. Dress Codes is a mix of contemporary references and timeless emotion.”—The Oregonian (Portland)
“It’s hard to imagine any memoir of recent years that better exemplifies ‘family values’—in the form of openness, love, and the sharing of intimacies.”—Salon.com
“This memoir is told with an honesty and tenderness that truly sets it apart from other tell-all tales.”—Elle