Bad Behavior
Mary Gaitskill

Book cover image

Narrated By: Mary Gaitskill

Duration: 7 hours and 16 minutes

What to expect

This is a reissue of National Book Award finalist Mary Gaitskill’s debut collection, Bad Behavior—powerful stories about dislocation, longing, and desire, which depict a disenchanted and rebellious urban-fringe generation as it searches for human connection.

Now a classic, Bad Behavior made critical waves when it was first published, heralding Gaitskill’s arrival on the literary scene and her establishment as a sharp, erotically charged, and audaciously funny writer of contemporary literature.

Stories included here are “Daisy’s Valentine,” “A Romantic Weekend,” “Something Nice,” “An Affair, Edited,” “Connection,” “Trying to Be,” “Secretary,” “Other Factors,” and “Heaven.”


Fiction: general and literary, Fiction: general and literary, Short stories, Narrative theme: Interior life

Listen to a sample

“Stubbornly original, with a sort of rhythm and fine moments that flatten you out when you don’t expect it.”

Alice Munro, New York Times bestselling author

“Intriguingly tart…Urban true grit.”


“Pinteresque…Ms. Gaitskill writes with such authority, such radar-perfect detail, that she is able to make even the most extreme situations seem real.”

New York Times

“This thirty-year-old collection is much more feminist than most of what we’ve got going, even these days. Good thing we can can still read it whenever we want.”

Literary Hub

“Gaitskill’s characters possess a curious combination of wit and naïveté…Her writing has a precision and depth than can charge a dreary setting with significance…Gaitskill has created an intimate and almost beautiful series of images.”

Publishers Weekly

“This author concentrates on the inside of her characters’ heads. In the best of these pieces, she looks not so much at the ‘bad behavior’ itself as at the consciousness behind it, calmly and clinically charting desires, ideas, and emotions.”

Kirkus Reviews

“A thrilling journey into the deep anxieties of romance and desire…Stunning.”

Frederick Exley, William Faulkner Award–winning author

“Ferocious, terrifying stories, skillful as they are scary. Gaitskill’s voice and talents are wonderfully new, as honest as rain and as welcome in a long, dry season.”