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Publisher's Summary

A bold, original, moving book that will inspire fanatical devotion and ignite debate.

"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.

©2015 Kate Bolick (P)2015 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

"Kate Bolick brings a bracing feminist consciousness to bear on the lives of five unconventional women of the past and on her own young life in the 21st century. She writes about the dilemmas of love and work - then and now - with rare perspicacity and poignancy." (Janet Malcolm, author of The Journalist and the Murderer)
"Spinster is a triumph, a provocative and moving exploration of what it means for a woman to chart her own course." (Malcolm Gladwell, author of David and Goliath)
"Kate Bolick's Spinster will take your breath away. Writing with a bold vision and in incandescent prose, Bolick gives us a user's guide to going solo - and a gorgeous work of cultural criticism." (Susan Cain, co-founder of Quiet Revolution and best-selling author of Quiet)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Great content. Not just for single women.

Great content brought to an even higher level by the author reading. This is for any independent and creative person, offers much more than just a tale of a single woman

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Important for every girl to read

Beautiful story of a girl who did not fit into society's cookie cutter image of what a woman should do and who she should be.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Exceptional!

A truly exceptional piece of literature. This is not a "how-to" on single life, as you might think - but so much more than that. It's about the true need to be alone - yet forever yearning, and having, deep connections with other human beings, sexual or not. It's about wanting something else than you are expected to want, and it is about finding "your people". Thank you, Kate Bolick. I have found my people.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Bravo! A refreshing take on "Singledom"

Spinster, Old Maid, Single...Katie Bolick's in depth memoir is a giant step toward taking the sting out of society's perception of the single girl.

Bolick spins the tale of her path to blissful spinsterdom through her personal experience of discovering her five awakeners of the literary world. These influential women who act as both personal and professional role models and shape Bolick's point of view on making a life of ones own.

"Spinster" offers a refreshing take what it means to be single. Honest, even witty at times, and most importantly, completely devoid of self-pity.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Loved it.

even went back to listen again to a chapter or two. creative and fun without being predictable.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Great writer. Great subject. I loved it!

This book and its subject matter is dear to my heart. The author is a truly great writer. Thank you Kate for writing about a subject long overdue. Love, Amber

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Good historical record of amazing women.

Narration sounded a bit too robotic but an enjoyable story overall. I liked the reinvention of the old word Spinster.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Not what I expected.

I tried to hang through the entire book, but I only got through chapter 4. I felt as if I were listening to a 16th century novel. Not what I expected from the title. I'm so sorry to leave this review, as I can only imagine the amount of work that goes into writing a book.

9 of 16 people found this review helpful

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As a comfortable single woman

let me tell you that being single is not about fending off lovely young bachelors who are certain you are marriage material. It's about learning to enjoy doing things alone. The alternative being dating a revolving door of loser after loser after loser. This is what the sisterhood has fought for 😂😃😉

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Her voice was depressing.

I couldn't get into the story due to the narrators voice. It was very depressing.

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  • Tara
  • 03-01-16

Attention all women

Read this book whether married, single, child-free, childless, or with children. A brilliant book that has a lesson, has something for every women.