It's In the Bag by Winifred Gallagher
What Purses Reveal---and Conceal

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The time is perfect for a short, smart purse book. The "good bag" has nudged out shoes, jeans, and jewelry as the must–have fashion possession. Despite price hikes –– $1,445 for a Prada bowler bag that once cost $940 –– the craze for high–end purses helps fuel the booming luxury–goods market and, via knock–offs, hugely influences the $6 billion–a–year mainstream handbag industry. But purse mania isn't just an outgrowth of a strong luxury–goods market –– human thoughts, feelings, and dreams are involved, too. As Nadia, a high–powered interior designer says, "My cell and my big Tod's purse –– that is my life."

In IT'S IN THE BAG, noted journalist Winifred Gallagher explains it what means for a purse to be a life. This cultural history of the handbag borrows from psychology (Freud noted that sometimes a purse is a vagina –– which is perhaps why the first "handbags" were carried by men!), sociology (a purse as a "status symbol") and even economics (Why have prices gotten so steep?). Researched and erudite yet always fun, Winifred Gallagher offers in IT'S IN THE BAG a charming theory of modern identity as seen through one of our keenest obsessions.


About Winifred Gallagher

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Winifred Gallagher is the author of House Thinking, Just the Way You Are (a New York Times Notable Book), Working on God, and Spiritual Genius. She has written for numerous publications, including Atlantic Monthly, Rolling Stone, and the New York Times. She lives in Manhattan and Dubois, Wyoming.
Published October 31, 2006 by Harper. 128 pages
Genres: Political & Social Sciences, Humor & Entertainment, Arts & Photography, History. Non-fiction

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Spirituality & Practice

talk about their own bags helped me to see how a single possession — one of life's little things — can become a partner in a silent but rewarding relationship."

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