E. Kay Trimberger tackles one of the largest social phenomena of our times: the increasing number of single women over 35. Drawing on the diverse personal stories of long-term single women, including herself, Trimberger explodes the idea that fulfillment comes only through finding a soul mate. The new single woman rejects the cultural pressure to couple and unabashedly lives a fulfilling single life, one where she is not on her own, not defined primarily by self-reliance, but by her skills at creating friendships and her ability to link networks of friends into a community. Trimberger's analysis opens up new alternatives for the "good life," and speaks to the anxieties of single women in their twenties and early thirties.
The book's argument that married/coupled women and single women (including bisexuals and lesbians) are not different or in competition, but rather at opposite ends of a continuum that comprises many women in-between is a paradigm-shifting notion - one that ultimately strengthens and enriches both single women and couples. Networks of friends and extended family sustain single women, link them to coupled women and offer security to both.
Fascinating personal accounts of how single women's lives evolve over time, combined with incisive observations and trenchant analysis, provide a new cultural road map for creating a satisfying and meaningful single life.
Hard cover edition of The New Single Woman still available from Beacon Press
Polish edition of The New Single Woman.
Chinese edition of The New Single Woman.
A much needed breath of fresh air. Women have been in bondage to the dream of the "soul-mate" for far too long, and Kay Trimberger gives us the inspiration and insight to get on with our lives.
Barbara Ehrenreich , Author of Nickeled and Dimed: On (Not)Getting by in America
This fascinating study is the perfect antidote to the onslaught of books telling women to marry or be miserable. The women Trimberger depicts have complex and interesting lives enriched by a wide variety of relationships-- with children, family, lovers and most of all friends. Must reading for the single, the coupled, and everyone in between
Katha Pollitt , columnist for The Nation
In this thoughtful book Trimberger explores with openness and grace the experience of single women in a soul-mate culture Whether you have a soul-mate, you're looking for one, or you don't and you're not, this is a book that explores and expands the notion of human fulfillment.
Arlie Hochschild , author of The Time Bind and The Commercialization of Intimate Life
This is an invaluable study, one that traces, most plausibly, the bittersweet experience--filled with contradiction and surprise--of the women caught up in the changing social norms achieved by thirty years of feminist influence. I applaud the entire project.
Vivian Gornick , author.
Living a meaningful and rich single life is not a taboo topic, but it might as well be. For all the books and films about the agony of being alone, there is a strange absence in both the popular media and scholarly literature of whole, actualized lives lived single. This remarkable book speaks to the undertheorized condition of many Americans in a sympathetic rendering with neither apology nor ideological axe to grind.
Troy Duster , past president, American Sociological Association.