Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Spinster: Making a Life of One's Own by Kate Bolick


“Whom to marry, and when will it happen—these two questions define every woman’s existence.”

So begins Spinster, a revelatory and slyly erudite look at the pleasures and possibilities of remaining single. Using her own experiences as a starting point, journalist and cultural critic Kate Bolick invites us into her carefully considered, passionately lived life, weaving together the past and present to examine why­ she—along with over 100 million American women, whose ranks keep growing—remains unmarried.

This unprecedented demographic shift, Bolick explains, is the logical outcome of hundreds of years of change that has neither been fully understood, nor appreciated. Spinster introduces a cast of pioneering women from the last century whose genius, tenacity, and flair for drama have emboldened Bolick to fashion her life on her own terms: columnist Neith Boyce, essayist Maeve Brennan, social visionary Charlotte Perkins Gilman, poet Edna St. Vincent Millay, and novelist Edith Wharton. By animating their unconventional ideas and choices, Bolick shows us that contemporary debates about settling down, and having it all, are timeless—the crucible upon which all thoughtful women have tried for centuries to forge a good life.

Intellectually substantial and deeply personal, Spinster is both an unreservedly inquisitive memoir and a broader cultural exploration that asks us to acknowledge the opportunities within ourselves to live authentically. Bolick offers us a way back into our own lives—a chance to see those splendid years when we were young and unencumbered, or middle-aged and finally left to our own devices, for what they really are: unbounded and our own to savor.

This book,that's getting increasingly popular by the day, begins in the area of social science and feminist theory but its more of a memoir.

Author Kate Bolick talks less about the dating less about the dating grind or modern relationships ad focusses more on what  it means to be a single woman post her 20s .

Its about Kate's decades long exploration of living independently, with inputs from five female writers. She highlights the joys of solitude and the satisfaction that comes from being alone.

Kate has one mission, and its not just for single women: to encourage people to cast aside the current views of how women should live,to find out what their hearts want and stop defining them by their relationship status.

In the book,kate has rebranded and called for all women to appreciate the joys of being unattached.

“You are born, you grow up, you become a wife. But what if it wasn’t this way? What if a girl grew up like a boy, with marriage an abstract, someday thought, a thing to think about when she became an adult, a thing she could do, or not do, depending? What would that look and feel like?”  

“Those of us who’ve bypassed the exits for marriage and children tend to motor through our thirties like unlicensed drivers, unauthorized grownups.” 

“The first thing that struck me was how the single women of my acquaintance were exceptionally alert to the people around them, generous in their attention, ready to engage in conversation or share a joke. Having nobody to go home to at night had always seemed a sad and lonesome fate; now I saw that being forced to leave the house for human contact encourages a person to live more fully in the world. In the best instances, the result was an intricate lacework of friendships varying in intensity and closeness that could be, it seemed, just as sustaining as a nuclear family, and possibly more appealing.” 

“Each of us is a museum that opens for business the moment we’re born, with memory the sole curator. How could a staff of one possibly stay abreast of all those holdings?” 

“We need much better and many more models. We need movies where women are attractive and interesting and have great lives and may not be married.” She cautioned that conjuring possible selves on our own isn’t enough—institutional support is also necessary. “Schools, workplaces, laws, norms, the media—they all need to make it clear that there are other ways to be a woman or a member of one minority group or another.” 

Kate Bolick is a contributing editor for The Atlantic, freelance writer for ELLE, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal (among other publications), and host of "Touchstones at The Mount," an annual literary interview series at Edith Wharton's country estate, in Lenox, MA. Previously, she was executive editor of Domino, and a columnist for The Boston Globe Ideas Section.

Kate Bolick

Bolick has appeared on The Today Show, CBS Sunday Morning, CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, and numerous NPR programs across the country. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.

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