Wasn’t it Balzac who said: “There are no bad women—only bad men”? That there is great truth in the statement goes without saying. Even the “good” man has proved to be quite capable of remaining blind to the needs of women in all walks of life. These women, often bored, restless and unfulfilled, are ripe fruit for the scoundrel, the unregenerate rascal and exploiter. Granting all this, we still think that Balzac erred and stretched a half-truth too far.
In these brilliant, artistically honest and probing stories the individual writers cut much closer to the whole truth. They are stories of exciting, vehement, determined females who seem by nature to have almost no scruples at all—who know exactly what they want and seek it ruthlessly, in open or covert defiance of the law.
Is environment chiefly responsible? Is a woman born bad or does she become bad? Certainly the “bad girl” is omnipresent in today’s stories; in radio, television, plays, books, cartoons.
Let James T. Farrell, Evan Hunter, Richard Deming, Richard Marsten, Gil Brewer and the others introduce you, from story to story, to their bad girls and perhaps bring us nearer to knowing what sets their minds apart and makes them what they are.
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