A nuanced investigation into the sexual, economic, and emotional lives of women in America, this “singularly triumphant work” (Los Angeles Times) by Rebecca Traister “the most brilliant voice on feminism in the country” (Anne Lamott) is “sure to be vigorously discussed” (Booklist, starred review).
In 2009, the award-winning journalist Rebecca Traister started All the Single Ladies—a book she thought would be a work of contemporary journalism—about the twenty-first century phenomenon of the American single woman. It was the year the proportion of American women who were married dropped below fifty percent; and the median age of first marriages, which had remained between twenty and twenty-two years old for nearly a century (1890–1980), had risen dramatically to twenty-seven.
But over the course of her vast research and more than a hundred interviews with academics and social scientists and prominent single women, Traister discovered a startling truth: the phenomenon of the single woman in America is not a new one. And historically, when women were given options beyond early heterosexual marriage, the results were massive social change—temperance, abolition, secondary education, and more.
Today, only twenty percent of Americans are wed by age twenty-nine, compared to nearly sixty percent in 1960. The Population Reference Bureau calls it a “dramatic reversal.” All the Single Ladies is a remarkable portrait of contemporary American life and how we got here, through the lens of the single American woman. Covering class, race, sexual orientation, and filled with vivid anecdotes from fascinating contemporary and historical figures, All the Single Ladies is destined to be a classic work of social history and journalism. Exhaustively researched, brilliantly balanced, and told with Traister’s signature wit and insight, this book should be shelved alongside Gail Collins’s When Everything Changed.
Rebecca Traister is writer at large for New York magazine and a contributing editor at Elle. A National Magazine Award finalist, she has written about women in politics, media, and entertainment from a feminist perspective for The New Republic and Salon and has also contributed to The Nation, The New York Observer, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Vogue, Glamour and Marie Claire. She is the author of All the Single Ladies and the award-winning Big Girls Don’t Cry. She lives in New York with her family.
“Entirely engaging …a singularly triumphant work of women presented in beautiful formation.” -- The Los Angeles Times
"Traister brings a welcome balance of critique and personal reflection to a conversation that is often characterize more by moral policing than honest discussion . . . Perhaps one of the most important aspects of [her] narrative is her acknowledgement that the experiences of single women are far from identical . . . An informative and thought-provoking book for anyone--not just the single ladies--who want to gain a greater understanding of this pivotal moment in the history of the United States." -- New York Times Book Review
“[Traister is] one of the nation’s smartest and most provocative feminist voices.” -- The Boston Globe
“An invigorating study of single women in America with refreshing insight into the real life of the so-called spinster.” -- Publishers Weekly
“Traister’s comprehensive volume, sure to be vigorously discussed, is truly impressive in scope and depth while always managing to be eminently readable and thoughtful.” -- Booklist, starred review
“This fast-paced, fascinating book will draw in fans of feminism, social sciences, and U.S. history.” -- Library Journal, starred review
"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...This rich portrait of our most quietly explosive social force makes it clear that the ladies still have plenty of work to do."
"Part social and cultural history, part anthropological and journalistic investigation, part memoir, and total investigation into the phenomenon and political power of single womanhood."
PRAISE FOR REBECCA TRAISTER
"Visionary." -- The New York Times Book Review
"One of the most powerful voices in a new generation of American feminist writers." -- Walter Russell Mead, Foreign Affairs
"The most brilliant voice on feminism in this country." -- Anne Lamott, author of Bird by Bird
"A clear-eyed, whip-smart observer of the political scene." -- Daphne Merkin, author of The Fame Lunches