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0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Kate Bolick Narrator: Kate Bolick Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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“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 a hundred 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.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “In Spinster, her wise and subtle memoir, Kate Bolick explores that freighted term—and the often-maligned woman to whom it is attached—and deftly, persuasively reclaims it.”

    Rebecca Mead, New York Times bestselling author

  • “Bolick’s evocation of the untethered state is often beautiful, her metaphors precise and lyrical.”


  • “[A] blazingly smart memoir…Her eloquent, provocative story illustrates how charting a unique course can make any life truly singular.”


  • “A pleasing, intelligent book. Bolick’s minibiographies of her five awakeners are captivating.”


  • “A riveting, essential text. Bolick’s voice crackles with wit, sharp criticism, and breathtaking metaphors as she makes an enticing case for spinsterhood.”

    Entertainment Weekly

  • “Bolick’s intimate exploration of spinsterhood celebrates the courage of defining for oneself what it means to be happy.”


  • “A sharp-witted paean to the single life.”

    Harper’s Bazaar

  • “Iin its charmingly digressive style, the book sets forth a clear vision not just for single women but for all women: to disregard the reigning views of how women should live, to know their own hearts, and to carve out a little space for their dreams.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • Spinster shows that more than 100 million unmarried American women are challenging a constricting stereotype and forging their own paths…[and] demonstrates how creative spinsters can thrive.”


  • “[A] refreshingly bold and incisive account of how she [Kate Bolick] came to celebrate her status as a single woman.”

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

  • “Bold and unapologetic, Bolick recasts our view of the single life and extols the rewards of going solo.”


  • “Bolick takes on an academic tone while narrating her work with precise diction and pronunciation befitting her literary approach to her topic…The result is an academic and historical approach to the author’s contemporary experiences as both a coupled and an uncoupled woman.”


  • “[This] marvelous meditation on what it means to be female at the dawn of the twenty-first century…will make you re-think your entire life, if not radically change it.”

    Joanna Rakoff, author of My Salinger Year

  • A BookPage Top Pick for May 2015
  • A Barnes & Noble Editor’s Recommendation
  • A Vogue Pick for Recommended Books for Spring 2015
  • A Publishers Weekly Top 10 Book of Social Science Titles of 2015
  • A Flavorwire Pick of 10 Books That Will Define the Conversation in 2015
  • One of Newsday’s Books Not to Miss
  • A Kirkus Reviews Pick for 11 Memoirs That Read Better Than a Novel
  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • A 2015 New York Times Book Review Notable Book
  • A Flavorwire Pick for Best Nonfiction of 2015
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