Not enough to go around
May 5, 2012 9:43 AM   Subscribe

Are there any good books about unhealthy competition between sisters? I want further insight into my older sister's negative impact on me and our other younger sister. I have not been able to find anything on the subject. Books about competition in families where scarcity was an issue during childhood would also be welcome. Thank you.
posted by Ventre Mou to Health & Fitness (6 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
I found Jealousy and My Mother, My Self, both by Nancy Friday, very helpful for insights on this. But then again, I have really read anything after the 1980s once I moved out.
posted by infini at 10:07 AM on May 5, 2012

(Sorry, that was "I have NOT really read anything")
posted by infini at 10:16 AM on May 5, 2012

It's YA fiction, but "Jacob Have I Loved" by Katherine Paterson is told from the viewpoint of a girl who feels shunted aside by her twin sister.
posted by easily confused at 10:37 AM on May 5, 2012 [3 favorites]

I don't have much in the way of books for you, but I curated an entire event based on the idea of "frenemies and nemesisters" and I would be happy to recommend a list of movies that you might find insightful or cathartic.

Oh, just kidding, I do have a really good book recommendation for you. "American Rose" is a biography of Gypsy Rose Lee, and the author spends a significant amount of time chronicling the relationship between Gypsy and her sister/rival, June Havoc (Havoc was even interviewed shortly before her death as a resource for this book).

These sisters were set up from the outset to have a toxic relationship -- for example, it was Gypsy who was born with the name "Ellen June," but when her little sister was born, Mama decided that the name suited the new baby better, so Gypsy's name was changed to Rose Louise. How weird is that? The girls were pitted against each other personally and professionally their entire lives. It's a fascinating read.
posted by hermitosis at 10:48 AM on May 5, 2012 [2 favorites]

The very wise and wonderful psychologist Dorothy Rowe, who has written of her fractious relationship with her own sister, is the author of a particularly interesting book on sibling relationships, My Dearest Enemy, My Dangerous Friend. I highly recommend it.
posted by HandfulOfDust at 4:23 PM on May 5, 2012

You Were Always Mom's Favorite, by sociolinguist Deborah Tannen.

It's about how sisters communicate across lifetimes and in different circumstances. And it's really great.
posted by bilabial at 5:49 PM on May 5, 2012 [1 favorite]

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