By E. Jean Carroll
(St. Martin’s Press, July 2019)
A darkly funny and very personal attempt to answer the question by America’s longest running advice columnist.
When E. Jean Carroll—possibly the liveliest woman in the world and author of Ask E. Jean in Elle Magazine — realized that her eight million readers and question-writers all seemed to have one thing in common—problems caused by men—she hit the road. Criss-crossing the country with her blue-haired poodle Lewis Carroll, E. Jean stopped in every town named after a woman between Eden, Vermont and Tallulah, Louisiana to ask women the crucial question: What Do We Need Men For?
E. Jean gave her rollicking road trip a sly, stylish turn when she deepened the story, creating a list called “The Most Hideous Men of My Life,” and began to reflect on her own sometimes very dark history with the opposite sex. What advice would she have given to her past selves—as Miss Cheerleader USA and Miss Indiana University? Or as the fearless journalist, television host and eventual advice columnist she became? E. Jean intertwines the stories of the outspoken people she meets on her road trip with her own history of bad behavior (from mafia bosses, media titans, boyfriends, husbands, a serial killer, and others) creating a decidedly dark yet hopeful, hilarious and thrilling narrative. Her answer to the question What Do We Need Men For? will shock men and delight women.
“Whimsical…a book that approaches its high-concept road trip with tongue firmly in cheek.”
“[O]ne of the definitive books of the #MeToo movement.”
“What [the book] offers…is a kind of literary impressionism, based on 75 years of lived experience―a sense of what it feels like to have pulsing veins and fiery nerves and a teeming mind and be caught within the cold infrastructures of sexism.”
“[What Do We Need Men For?] is somehow hilarious, in the way that only E. Jean could have written it…. It’s really wonderful.”
“Carroll’s new memoir/manifesto, What Do We Need Men For?, is a master class in making a person believe…. Fantastically written but so friendly to follow.”
E. Jean Carroll has written the celebrated monthly advice column “Ask E. Jean” for Elle magazine for over twenty-five years. She has been a contributing editor at Esquire, Outside, and Playboy, and has written for Rolling Stone, GQ, and other publications. She received an Emmy nomination for her writing on Saturday Night Live. She lives in Warwick, NY.