“All The Lives I Want” By Alana Massey Shows How Culture Can Define You?


How many times has it happened that you think something but do not say it? That happens to me almost every day. ‘All The Lives I Want’ by Alana Massey is a wonderful collection on such things that women are unable to express.

Massey as a writer is known to cover aspects like labor, gender, identity, culture, and mortality.

The novel covers a series of 15 short essays and 20 celebrities such as Sylvia Plath, Lana Del Rey, Winona Ryder, Britney Spears, and the Olsen Twins. It explores the struggles of being in the industry, personal relationships, and the rise and fall of women.

Woman’s deep side

What Is It About?

The book is a perfect combination of fan letters and cultural criticism. How culture and the society make and break you is a central factor of a woman’s life. She picks certain celebrities, talks about their life, and relates it to her own personal experiences. Drawing such parallels helps the readers connect to the cultural experiences in their own private way.

What Do I Take Away From It?

What you take away from this book are an inspiration and a lesson. The author traces a legacy of strong women which helps us understand how to judge ourselves. Due to cultural and societal pressures, we tend to be quite harsh in terms of how we look at ourselves in the mirror, we have a tendency to only cry over our faults and blame God for them. However, this book will give light to a new perspective on life. You will learn to look at all your amazing parts and be thankful for them as well. If stop judging ourselves the way we do, our lives would be ten times happier.

What Struck Me The Most?

What stayed with me was how Massey changes the take on the term ‘Bitches be crazy’ through her work. She rightly asked one to look at is as ‘bitches; be crazy!’. She transforms the phrase from what guys say girls are bitches who just talk nonsense to ladies, or bitches, its time to be crazy. She says, “We took that ‘bitch’ already. And now we have come for crazy”.

Why Should One Read It?

‘All The Lives I Want’ is also an exploration of the dangers of loving too much, the sex industry, and mental illness. It aims at inspiring the readers by talking about certain celebrities who could shape a generation of women. This process of re-imagining these legacies helps us in discovering new ways of forgiving ourselves. If you idolize these personalities and wish to learn beyond their public image then this book is sure to give you some amazing insights. Even as an outsider, if you are a feminist, you are certain to feel empowered by this experience.

If you are looking for more books that give exposure to the industry and this experience, read ‘Backwards And In Heels’ By Alicia Malone.

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