04/22/15 3:35pm


Spinster: Making a Life of One’s Own
Kate Bolick
(Random House)

“Whom to marry, and when it will happen–these two questions define every woman’s existence, regardless of where she was raised or what religion she does and doesn’t practice.” Such is the wisdom—and unfortunate opening—of Spinster, a new memoir-ish book by Kate Bolick. Bolick, a 40-something editor for the Atlantic is a satisfied single—and don’t you forget it. (She loves being alone, okay?) But going solo wasn’t easy for her. Spinster, then, is a ledger of her struggle, or a map to Bolick’s own sovereign land. Spoiler alert: Bolick, through spinsterhood, makes a life of her own. And how!

Spinster is part-autobiography, part-manifesto, and a smattering of women’s history. We meet Bolick’s mélange of suitors: her college beau, the enterprising co-editor, the fling, et al. Eventually, Bolick jettisons the whole fleet for solitude, haters be damned. Along the way, she finds her idols: five women of the Edith Wharton variety, whom she calls her “awakeners.” (more…)