Journalist Kate Bolick's 2011 Atlantic cover story, "All the Single Ladies," sparked a heated debate on modern notions of romance, family, career, and success. The story, drawing more than one million readers, put forth the statistic that 50% of the adult population is single (compared with 33 percent in 1950)-and that percentage is likely to keep growing.
In Spinster: Making a Life of One's Own, Bolick goes beyond the statistics and uses her personal experiences to explore why she, and more than 100 million American women, remains unmarried today. Exploring why others fear a life she has come to relish, Bolick highlights the pleasures and possibilities of remaining single and also pulls back the curtain on pioneering, unmarried women across the centuries. She examines the need to build our lives on our own terms, by our own rules, and with our own ideas of family.
Bolick also raises the question of what women living their adult lives alone (if only for a time) means for society. While a life lived alone is often seen as a waiting period-an in-between stage-what Bolick shows is that this stage itself is a viable way of life; women can live their whole lives as solo actors.
Kate Bolick is a contributing editor for The Atlantic, freelance writer for ELLE, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal (among other publications), and host of "Touchstones at The Mount," an annual literary interview series at Edith Wharton's country estate, in Lenox, MA. Previously, she was executive editor of Domino, and a columnist for The Boston Globe Ideas Section. Her first book, SPINSTER: Making a Life of One's Own, will be published by Crown in April 2015.
Scott Stossel is the editor of The Atlantic magazine and the author of the New York Times bestseller My Age of Anxiety: Fear, Hope, Dread, and the Search for Peace of Mind and the award-winning Sarge: The Life and Times of Sargent Shriver.