Perfect Husbands (& Other Fairy Tales)

Demystifying Marriage, Men & Romance

By Gina Barreca

In this witty, engaging book, Regina Barreca explores the evolving roles of husbands and wives in contemporary American culture. Through interviews and examination of marital relationships in popular culture, Barreca reveals the differences between men’s and women’s beliefs concerning marriage–and the myths and expectations that underlie them. Barreca reveals how the static myths that many women cling to can lead to unhappiness in today’s changing world.Provocative and humorous, Perfect Husbands (& Other Fairy Tales) is the essential guide to the politics of marriage today.


“Smart and Funny….A useful guidebook on what to avoid.” —People

“Feminist humor maven Gina Barreca takes on marriage with her characteristic wit and wisdom, demystifying the institution’s roles and expectations clearly and usefully.” —Ms. Magazine

“Barreca is an academic who respects the impact of pop culture and a feminist with a great sense of humor…to what end? A finer distinction between the promise of romance and the rewards of reality. And lots of laughs.” —Dallas Morning News

“Barreca presents a lively and convincing overview of the politics of marriage. Barreca doesn’t denounce marriage, but she urges women to regard it as a journey instead of a destination and to look upon men as fallible humans instead of husband material. Only then, she notes, can there be true equality in marriage.”

“Sassy…explores the modern matrimonial state from all angles, kicking up plenty of facts, fictions and jokes along the way. Stop fantasizing and recognize that marriage isn’t perfect, Barreca suggests. But her real purpose here isn’t to prescribe or analyze deeply–it’s just to hold the mirror up to marriage, which she does with good nature and her trademark wit.” —Kirkus Reviews

Perfect Husbands (& Other Fairy Tales)

Publication Information

Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: Anchor Books
Publication Date: December 1, 1994
ISBN: 978-0385475389