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A funny and moving book that Australian women of all generations will love.

With all the moxie of an RSL barmaid and the library card of a research fellow, Nelly Thomas has emerged to talk about nothing slighter than the trials of her generation... She's erudite, earthy and entirely unemployable.
Helen Razer - The Age (review Melb Comedy Festival)

Growing up in post-feminist Australia, Nelly Thomas, one of Australia’s
most gifted and natural comedians, was told she could ‘have it all’.
She’s giving it a crack – but she still isn’t quite sure what ‘it’ is.

What do women want?

In pursuit of answers, Thomas has tried being a telemarketer, a professional
student, a fast-food worker, a broadcaster, a smoker, a prostitute’s confidant,
a health advocate, a reality television obsessive, a mother, a partner (or is it
girlfriend? lover?), an award-winning comedian, a sex-educator, a Loony Lefty
Feminista and a self-confessed fatty boombah. Like many of her generation, she’s
had a lot of options, yet she’s wondering – which do you choose?

In this hilarious part-memoir, part-manifesto, Thomas navigates the murky
waters of her life and womanhood in the twenty-first century. She tackles the big
contemporary issues – career, equality, family, porn, sex, entertainment, obesity,
parenting, culture, class, Beyonce’s derriere – with customary insight and a
wickedly dry wit.

A must-read for the modern Aussie woman.


What Women Want is pleasantly surprising. It is funny, to be expected from a comedian-turned-writer, but it is also sage, well researched and deeply interesting. This is a great book for people living in contemporary Australia.

Jane Fynes-Clinton, Daily Telegraph

This is a superb piece of writing by a no-nonsense advocate for sensible attitude to sex, work, relationships, education, health and children. Thomas's particular skills are a distinctive, articulate voice and a message that is worth listening to. This is a rare example of a comedian writing a book about the subjects that inspire her without feeling the need to make every line a joke.

Bruce Elder, Bendigo Advertiser

Advocating a down-to-earth, sensible approach, she has a light humorous touch, but doesn't try to be funny all the time. If only every cultural discussion I read was this accessible and to this standard.

Northern Rivers Echo

Thomas' book is well researched and asks difficult questions. It challenges stereotypes and take the reader into sometimes uncomfortable territory - all achieved with liberal doses of humour.

Wendy Lavender, Kalgoorlie Miner

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Formats & editions

  • Trade Paperback


    April 2, 2012

    Ebury Australia

    320 pages

    RRP $34.99

    Online retailers

    • Amazon
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    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

  • EBook


    April 2, 2012

    Random House Australia

    320 pages

    Online retailers

    • Amazon Kindle AU
    • iBooks
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    • eBooks