Tackling a Last Taboo
by Anne Fisher

(FORTUNE Magazine) - What's the deal with women and money, anyway? Shockingly, more women will file for bankruptcy this year than will graduate from college. Liz Perle, the author of Money, a Memoir (Henry Holt), had her own moment of reckoning. At age 42 she found herself suddenly divorced, homeless, and penniless, with a small son to raise. So how did a formerly successful publishing executive end up broke? And why do so many other women wrestle with managing their financial lives?

The tale of how Perle got back on her feet is interspersed with stories of other women's fears and hang-ups about getting and spending. Perle can be hilarious, as when she writes about her inner stewardess, whose "advice should be avoided." Although at times this book seems a transparent bid to get on Oprah, Perle tackles some intriguing and important questions about a subject that too many nice girls were raised never to talk about at all. Top of page