Review: ‘Spinster’ by Kate Bolick

April 17, 2015 2:09 PM

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Review: ‘Spinster’ by Kate Bolick

Her journals from her early 20s analyze every twist and turn of her “melodramatic romantic life,” yet solitude seems to be where the real romance is. A boyfriend leaves and she writes: “Ah, finally. … back to my little spinster ways.” A month later, she catalogs “a long, perfect spinster wish of a Sunday, read all day, took two naps.”

“Spinster” is a dowdy old word, coined in 15th century Europe and originally applied to women who spun thread for a living. In Spinster, a book that sprang from a popular 2011 Atlantic essay, Bolick is taking back the S-word, polishing it and rebranding it as shorthand for the pleasures of being una...

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