GRAY is not a self-help book on how to go gray gracefully. Nor is it a manifesto about hair dye, or anything else. Going gray is the metaphor I chose for my journey, a year devoted to dissecting stale expectations, festering wounds and fairy-tale dreams of fame, true love and passionate sex. The book is sad, but also funny. In terms of voice and style, I aspire to a Nora Ephron aesthetic, with generous splashes of Erma Bombeck. (I know, I should be so lucky, but a girl's gotta aspire. And while I'm whispering in your ear, I just want you to know that some of my closest friends dye their hair, including some that really shouldn't, so seriously, it's not even an issue for me.)
The first paperback edition of GRAY IS THE NEW BLACK (Otis Books, June 2019) sold out in nine months and was a Small Press Distribution top-ten, non-fiction title for three of four quarters. GRAY was selected as a finalist for the 2020 IAN Book of the Year Awards in two categories: “Memoir,” and “Parenting/Family/Relationships,” and was awarded a 2020 NCPA book award in the memoir category. GRAY also made the 2019 MAGNIFYlist of reviewers' favorite small press books published that year.
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GRAY IS THE NEW BLACK - Sample Chapter Part One - Chapter One
I hadn’t looked forward to dinner out with my two sisters and their boyfriends. Not that I don’t love my sisters. They’re my best friends. But sometimes I hate them for how they make me feel. Then I hate myself for being a peevish bitch. This was last summer. I was forty pounds overweight and not in the mood for self-reflection.
I don’t remember the occasion. Maybe just to meet my older sister’s latest boyfriend. She’d had a few since her last divorce. Toads for the most part. I didn’t, yet, know enough about this one to have passed final judgment.
GRAY IS THE NEW BLACK - the perfect book club read
Reader reviews often mention that GRAY is an ideal book club selection - one that's guaranteed to spark conversation, touch emotions and evoke similar experiences and memories. I'd love to participate in your book club, readers' group or classroom discussion - virtually, or in person, depending on location (I'm in Northern California).
"With incisive, lyrical prose, Dorothy Rice articulates something important about generations of women, especially those who find comfort in language, reading and writing and use these tools to discover why it was so important to them to fit in, to belong, to be wanted by a man, even a bad man, or the wrong man." LIT PUB
"Her scenes are so well written and poignant that this is the type of reading one cannot put down, because the narrative flows so smoothly." hippocampus magazine
"When I found Dorothy Rice’s memoir, GRAY IS THE NEW BLACK, the book felt like a cosmic gift. . . With incisive, lyrical prose, Dorothy Rice articulates a longing for a generation of women seeking an honest way to see themselves, a way to authentically exist in the world." Brevity's Nonfiction Blog
"A memoir written in a year—about a year—of self-discovery, this little black book takes readers along, sometimes hilariously, sometimes with heartbreak, on the writer’s oh-so-relatable quest to exorcise some past demons, accept herself at all ages (especially now, as she grows her hair out gray), forgive herself and look ahead with clear eyes." Sacramento Magazine
"One of my favorite authors is Nora Ephron. I especially love her book I Feel Bad About My Neck, which is a lovely, humorous look at growing older as a woman. Sadly, Nora is no longer with us so there are no more Ephron books to look forward to. In reading Gray Is the New Black: A Memoir of Self Acceptance by Dorothy Rice, I think I have found my new Nora. Any woman over 50 years old should pick this up, because she will find insight into her own story in this insightful, bittersweet book." Beauty Info Zone
"We are reminded of the old adage, Don’t Judge a Book by Its Cover, upon opening Dorothy Rice’s recent memoir, GRAY IS THE NEW BLACK. The simple cover — black background, minimal white font donning only the book’s title and author’s name — gives no hint of the complexity of emotions that lies between its pages." NY Yoga+Life
"The book is a personal story, but it resonates on a universal level with readers." Inside Sacramento
"Rice discusses being a daughter, sister, mother, grandmother and wife with an unflinchingly honest and unquestionably relatable pen. Although I’m more than a decade her junior, I saw myself on the page over and over—often painfully so. But although Rice is merciless in her examination of her life, she is never whiney, self-pitying, or cruel. Rice details her pain with such a wry humor that her memoir was impossible to put down." Mom Egg Review "Dorothy Rice’s GRAY IS THE NEW BLACK is a memoir of ageism, sexism and self acceptance. It’s also a wonderful portrait of an intelligent, beautiful woman struggling to confront her past in order to have the present and future she wants and deserves." Longridge Review
GRAY IS THE NEW BLACK - five-star reader reviews
"A page turner, honest and self-reflective" "The perfect book club read" "Pulls you in, and doesn't let you go until the last page is turned" "I couldn't put this book down" "Honest, fast paced, and just a damn good read!" "My hero for memoir writing" "Required reading towards self-acceptance"