Isabella Biedenharn
April 28, 2015 AT 07:52 PM EDT

Spinster: Making a Life of One's Own

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
Kate Bolick
publisher
Crown
genre
Nonfiction

We gave it an A

In a quest to understand her desire for permanent singlehood and the professional and personal freedoms inherent in a fully self-reliant lifestyle, journalist Bolick weaves memoir, feminist theory, and biographies of five forgone writers into a riveting, essential text. She convenes this luminous “secret coven of dead spinsters”—Edna St. Vincent Millay, Neith Boyce, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Edith Wharton, and Maeve Brennan—and uses their radical last-century lives to explore the upside of not marrying. (Spoiler and a downside: One ends up a bag lady.) Bolick’s voice crackles with wit, sharp criticism, and breathtaking metaphors as she makes an enticing case for spinsterhood. A

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