And the striking thing about all of them is that they share the same tough-as-nails outer shell. The women I know and admire are pragmatic, sarcastic, and take charge. They may not, as Sasha does, break someone's fingers and disarm them, but they overcome real-life challenges with a matter-of-fact grace and wit.*
And inside that tough exterior is a warm gooey center. These are women who support, love, and help their families and friends.
I should know. Since the publication of Irreparable Harm, my circle of Pittsburgh women, both those still in place and those who have relocated but retained their Pittsburghness, have been amazingly supportive. From buying multiple copies of the book to sending me flowers, my relatives and friends have rallied around me. Which is what Pittsburgh women do.
*I am actually pretty sure that ALL women have this dual nature---whether it is the steel magnolia manifestation from the South (soft and ladylike outside and tough inside) or the tough outside/soft inside version indigenous to the 'Burgh.