My Little Red Book

MY LITTLE RED BOOK edited by Rachel Kauder Nalebuff - Hardcover edition $15

Twelve, 2009

My Little Red Book is an anthology of stories about first periods, collected from women of all ages from around the world. The accounts range from light-hearted (the editor got hers while water skiing in a yellow bathing suit) to heart-stopping (a first period discovered just as one girl was about to be strip-searched by the Nazis). The contributors include well-known women writers (Meg Cabot, Erica Jong, Gloria Steinem, Cecily von Ziegesar), alongside today's teens. And while the authors differ in race, faith, or cultural background, their stories share a common bond: they are all accessible, deeply honest, and highly informative. Whatever a girl experiences or expects, she'll find stories that speak to her thoughts and feelings.

Ultimately, My Little Red Book is more than a collection of stories. It is a call for a change in attitude, for a new way of seeing periods. In a time when the taboo around menstruation seems to be one of the few left standing, it makes a difficult subject easier to talk about, and helps girls feel proud instead of embarrassed or ashamed. By revealing what it feels like to undergo this experience first hand, and giving women the chance to explain their feelings in their own words, it aims to provide support, entertainment, and a starting point for discussion for mothers and daughters everywhere. It is a book every girl should have. Period.


Excerpt from essay “Ink Blots and Milk Spots, 1987” by Krista Madsen:

There was that word in the textbook, menarche, which sounded to me like the monarchs that flitted confetti-like over the raspberry patch. And there were the other bleeders. I would finally be joining their ranks. These bosom-since-birth girls with their ready-made boyfriends. It was a progression toward romance and motherhood, maturity and death, and I was must have been excited, however frightened.