Life and Other Shortcomings is a collection of linked short stories that takes the reader from New Orleans to New York City to Madrid, and from 1970 to the present day. The women in these twelve stories make a number of different choices: some work, others don’t; some stay married, some get divorced; others never marry at all. Through each character’s intimate journey, specific truths are revealed about what it means to be a woman—in relationship with another person, in a particular culture and era—and how these conditions ultimately affect her relationship with herself. The stories as a whole depict patriarchy, showing what still might be, but certainly what was, for some women in this country before the #MeToo movement. Both a cautionary tale and a captivating window into women’s lives, Life and Other Shortcomings is required reading for anyone interested in an honest, incisive, and compelling portrayal of the female experience.