AUTHOR: Rita Mae Brown
PUBLISHER: Ballantine Books
DATE: 2009
PAGES: 256

Animal Magnetism: My Life with Creatures Great and Small

by Rita Mae Brown

Rita Mae Brown’s earliest memory is of the soothing purr of Mickey, her family’s long-haired tiger cat, who curled up and claimed a spot in her crib. From there, a steady parade of cats, dogs, horses, and all manner of two- and four-legged critters have walked, galloped, and flown into and through her world.

In Animal Magnetism, the bestselling author shares the lessons she’s learned from these marvelous creatures as well as her deep appreciation for them. We meet Franklin, a parrot with a wicked sense of humor; R.C., a courageous Doberman who defined loyalty and sacrifice; Suzie Q, the horse who taught Brown the meaning of hard work; and of course the beloved and prolific Sneaky Pie, who needs no introduction to her legions of fans. As funny as it is poignant, Animal Magnetism shows how these inspiring creatures can bring out the best in us, restore us to our greater selves, and even save our lives.


Author Rita Mae Brown has often been referred to as a lesbian because of her well-known earlier works Venus Envy and Rubyfruit Jungle as well as her involvement with the radical feminist movement (she co-founded The Furies Collective in the 1970s), but in interviews she frequently pushed back against being labeled a “lesbian writer” (and most other labels). In an interview with TIME, she said “I don’t believe in straight or gay. I really don’t. I think we’re all degrees of bisexual. There may be a few people on the extreme if it’s a bell curve who really truly are gay or really truly are straight. Because nobody had ever said these things and used their real name, I suddenly became the only lesbian in America. It was hysterical. It was a misnomer, but it’s okay. It was a fight worth fighting.”


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