Spinster

Making a Life of One's Own

Spinster

A New York Times Book Review Notable Book “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. From the Hardcover edition.

A Companion to Literary Biography

A Companion to Literary Biography

An authoritative review of literary biography covering the seventeenth century to the twentieth century A Companion to Literary Biography offers a comprehensive account of literary biography spanning the history of the genre across three centuries. The editor – an esteemed literary biographer and noted expert in the field – has encouraged contributors to explore the theoretical and methodological questions raised by the writing of biographies of writers. The text examines how biographers have dealt with the lives of classic authors from Chaucer to contemporary figures such as Kingsley Amis. The Companion brings a new perspective on how literary biography enables the reader to deal with the relationship between the writer and their work. Literary biography is the most popular form of writing about writing, yet it has been largely neglected in the academic community. This volume bridges the gap between literary biography as a popular genre and its relevance for the academic study of literature. This important work: Allows the author of a biography to be treated as part of the process of interpretation and investigates biographical reading as an important aspect of criticism Examines the birth of literary biography at the close of the seventeenth century and considers its expansion through the eighteenth, nineteenth and twentieth centuries Addresses the status and writing of literary biography from numerous perspectives and with regard to various sources, methodologies and theories Reviews the ways in which literary biography has played a role in our perception of writers in the mainstream of the English canon from Chaucer to the present day Written for students at the undergraduate level, through postgraduate and doctoral levels, as well as academics, A Companion to Literary Biography illustrates and accounts for the importance of the literary biography as a vital element of criticism and as an index to our perception of literary history.

Becoming an Interior Designer

Becoming an Interior Designer

A revealing guide to a career as an interior designer written by New York Times bestselling author Kate Bolick and based on the real-life experiences of the cofounders of the acclaimed Brooklyn firm Jesse Parris-Lamb—required reading for anyone considering a path to this profession. Becoming an Interior Designer takes you behind the scenes to find out what it’s really like, and what it really takes, to become an interior designer. This artful profession combines visionary creativity and taste with architecture, engineering, and business savvy. Acclaimed Brooklyn-based studio Jesse Parris-Lamb specializes in crafting warm, textured room designs shaped by the people that inhabit them. Bestselling author Kate Bolick shadows founders Amanda Jesse and Whitney Parris-Lamb to show how this dream job becomes a reality. Visit their studio as they as they map out new projects. Watch as they inject beauty and atmosphere into open air lofts and historic brownstones. Decide on the perfect shade of blue that will complete a serene reading room. Gain professional wisdom as Bolick traces the founders’ paths to prominence, from attending design school and starting a studio, to building top-tier clients and planning landmark redesigns.

The Yellow Wall-Paper, Herland, and Selected Writings

The Yellow Wall-Paper, Herland, and Selected Writings

A collection of the groundbreaking feminist writer's most famous works, with a thought-provoking introduction by bestselling author Kate Bolick Wonderfully sardonic and slyly humorous, the writings of landmark American feminist and socialist thinker Charlotte Perkins Gilman were penned in response to her frustrations with the gender-based double standard that prevailed in America as the twentieth century began. Perhaps best known for her chilling depiction of a woman's mental breakdown in her unforgettable 1892 short story 'The Yellow Wall-Paper', Gilman also wrote Herland, a wry novel that imagines a peaceful, progressive country from which men have been absent for two thousand years. Both are included in this volume, along with a selection of Gilman's major short stories and her poems. New York Times bestselling author Kate Bolick contributes an illuminating introduction that explores Gilman's fascinating yet complicated life. For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

My Brilliant Friends

Our Lives in Feminism

My Brilliant Friends

My Brilliant Friends is a group biography of three women’s friendships forged in second-wave feminism. Poignant and politically charged, the book is a captivating personal account of the complexities of women’s bonds. Nancy K. Miller describes her friendships with three well-known scholars and literary critics: Carolyn Heilbrun, Diane Middlebrook, and Naomi Schor. Their relationships were simultaneously intimate and professional, emotional and intellectual, animated by the ferment of the women’s movement. Friendships like these sustained the generation of women whose entrance into male-dominated professions is still reshaping American society. The stories of their intertwined lives and books embody feminism’s belief in the political importance of personal experience. Reflecting on aging and loss, ambition and rivalry, competition and collaboration, Miller shows why and how friendship’s ties matter in the worlds of work and love. Inspired in part by the portraits of the intensely enmeshed lives in Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan novels, My Brilliant Friends provides a passionate and timely vision of friendship between women.

March Sisters: On Life, Death, and Little Women

A Library of America Special Publication

March Sisters: On Life, Death, and Little Women

On its 150th anniversary, four acclaimed authors offer personal reflections on their lifelong engagement with Louisa May Alcott's classic novel of girlhood and growing up. For the 150th anniversary of the publication of Louisa May Alcott's Little Women, Kate Bolick, Jenny Zhang, Carmen Maria Machado, and Jane Smiley explore their strong lifelong personal engagement with Alcott's novel--what it has meant to them and why it still matters. Each takes as her subject one of the four March sisters, reflecting on their stories and what they have to teach us about life. Kate Bolick finds parallels in oldest sister Meg's brush with glamour at the Moffats' ball and her own complicated relationship with clothes. Jenny Zhang confesses to liking Jo least among the sisters when she first read the novel as a girl, uncomfortable in finding so much of herself in a character she feared was too unfeminine. Carmen Maria Machado writes about the real-life tragedy of Lizzie Alcott, the inspiration for third sister Beth, and the horror story that can result from not being the author of your own life's narrative. And Jane Smiley rehabilitates the reputation of youngest sister Amy, whom she sees as a modern feminist role model for those of us who are, well, not like the fiery Jo. These four voices come together to form a deep, funny, far-ranging meditation on the power of great literature to shape our lives.

Becoming a Hairstylist

Becoming a Hairstylist

Based on the real-life experiences of an expert in the field, an immersive, accessible guide to a career in hairstyling brought to life by acclaimed writer Kate Bolick—essential reading for anyone interested in this creative and dynamic profession. Gwenn LeMoine sees the world through the lens of hair. The daughter of two hairstylists, she has taken her natural talent to an entrepreneurial level and is now the owner of Parlor, a wildly popular, two-location hair salon in the East Village and Brooklyn. A pioneer with four decades of expertise in styling eccentric celebrity personalities, LeMoine works with clients such as such as Piper Kerman, Rue McClanahan, Molly Ringwald, Twyla Tharp, and William Wegman, to name only a few. Her work has also been featured on television (SNL, VH1, ETV), in magazines (Real Simple, Nylon, The New York Times, and Paste), and at awards shows, such as the Tonys and Emmys. In Becoming a Hairstylist, Atlantic columnist and New York Times notable author Kate Bolick provides a compelling profile of a career in hair styling through the life of LeMoine, and offers us a glance at a day in the life at Parlor. The perfect resource for anyone interested in a career in cosmetology, Becoming a Hairstylist portrays how to excel as a stylist—at any age and for all types of customers.