TNY's woman in L.A.

Caitlin Flanagan perhaps "owes her success largely to a misogynistic media that loves a catfight...[but she] has so masterfully created a persona that it virtually guarantees literary celebrity," says the LAT's Gina Piccalo in a profile pegged to the New Yorker writer's new book that is infuriating some feminists.

FlanaganShe's been called "a retrograde feminist-hater," "shrill, smug and condescending," "an Old World elitist of the most lip-curling kind" even "the most repellent person in the world."

That's because in the five or so years she has written on domestic life from her Los Angeles vantage point on its being "laughably child centered," on the "epidemic" of sexless marriages, on her belief that "when a mother works, something is lost" Flanagan has aimed her intellect and razor wit directly at upper-middle-class working mothers.

These are the women who seem to be a natural audience for the 44-year old Flanagan, who lives in Hancock Park with her husband and two young sons. She socializes in liberal circles, and she writes about working mothers' struggles: to keep households humming, to cope with ego-gratifying yet demanding careers, and to live with the nagging specter of the Perfect Mother. But because Flanagan writes cloaked as a (mostly) happy housewife, she's raised the ire of her peers. In their view, the only thing more maddening than a happy housewife is a happy housewife who writes for the New Yorker.

Flanagan's book To Hell With All That: Loving and Loathing Our Inner Housewife arrives Monday.

Photo: Los Angeles Times/Francine Orr


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