I’ve been enthusiastically recommending All the Single Ladies since I read it last spring.
Author Rebecca Traister has put together a fascinating depth of historic and social research, a richly satisfying diversity of first person interviews, and a warmth and humour in her writing that makes this book a real pleasure to read. I enjoyed it so much that I turned from the last page right back to the first page and read the whole thing a second time – something I haven’t done for years.
In particular, the impact of reading this book for women who are single by choice or circumstances can be deeply emotional and transformative; both clients and friends talk about feeling seen, validated and empowered in ways that our culture (and even psychotherapy at times) too often denies.
PRAISE FOR ALL THE SINGLE LADIES
“A well-researched, deeply informative examination of women’s bids for independence, spanning centuries…Traister provides a thoughtful culling of history to help bridge the gap between, on the one hand, glib depictions of single womanhood largely focused on sexual escapades and, on the other, grave warnings that female independence will unravel the very fabric of the country… All The Single Ladies is arriving just in time. This is an informative and thought-provoking book for anyone – not just the single ladies – who wants to gain a great understanding of this pivotal moment in the history of the United States.” —New York Times Book Review (Editor’s Choice)
“The enormous accomplishment of Traister’s book is to show that the ranks of women electing for nontraditional lives…have also improved the lots of women who make traditional choices, blowing open the institutions of marriage and parenthood…This rich portrait of our most quietly explosive social force makes it clear that the ladies still have plenty of work to do.” —Slate
“Personal and relatable…[Traister’s] assessment of single women’s sex lives is so balanced and ordinary-sounding that it becomes extraordinary in a world where Tinder is supposedly bringing a dating apocalypse…I’ll swipe right on that message any day.” —Washington Post
“I can’t begin to count the number of conversations I’ve had in my adult life about my lack of enthusiasm to marry… Thankfully, with the publication of Rebecca Traister’s All the Single Ladies: Unmarried Women and the Rise of an Independent Nation, I can stop explaining and buy her book for all the busybodies in my happily unmarried life. Traister blends history, reportage and personal memoir to propose that the notion of marriage in American life has been and will be written by unmarried women.” —The Guardian (US)
“Traister’s illuminating history of women who haven’t put a ring on it, whether by choice or by chance, is smartly placed in a larger historical context and enriched by compelling personal narratives.” —Entertainment Weekly, Best Books of 2016 So Far select
“Traister is one of the sharpest journalists writing about feminism today, and her look into the link between eras with large numbers of unmarried women and periods of drastic social change is absolutely riveting… It turns out the history of unmarried women in this country is a fascinating one, which Traister recounts in compulsively readable detail, combining facts with personal stories from single ladies across racial and financial spectrums. What’s left after she joyfully dismantles conservative arguments about the death of wifely servitude is hope: ‘Ring on it’ or not, the paths open to women today are varied and bright.” —Entertainment Weekly
“In this intelligent book, Traister looks at the many reasons for choosing a path that would have been cultural and economic suicide 50 years ago. She wants single women to recognize themselves as a political force and to celebrate unmarried life for what it can be: an excellent option.” —People Magazine
“Wonderfully inclusive, examining single women from all walks of life — working, middle, and upper-class women; women of color and white women; queer and straight ones…With All the Single Ladies, [Traister] brings her trademark intelligence and wit to bear, interspersing her own experiences and observations with dozens of interviews with women all over the country, plus historical context, from so-called Boston marriages (the nineteenth-century name for women who lived together) and the Brontë sisters to Murphy Brown and Sex and the City.” —Elle Magazine
“No husband, NP…In All The Single Ladies, an exhaustive examination of independent women and how they shaped the world we live (and date) in today, Rebecca Traister explodes the centuries-old notion that marriage is compulsory to living a happy, fulfilled life and reveals the inestimable power of being blissfully unattached.” —Cosmopolitan