The Improvised Woman: Single Women Reinventing Single Life

3.82 avg rating
( 22 ratings by Goodreads )
 
9780393319538: The Improvised Woman: Single Women Reinventing Single Life
View all copies of this ISBN edition:
 
 

"A remarkable new book. . . . Marcelle Clements's The Improvised Woman has that exhilarating Eureka! quality. . . . In its modest, quizzical way, The Improvised Woman is a visionary work." ―Mirabella

What is it like being a single woman today? A groundbreaking work of scope, wit, and exceptional empathy, The Improvised Woman answers that complex question, while in the process capturing-and celebrating-the real lives of single American women. Over the past seven years, journalist and essayist Marcelle Clements asked over one hundred women from across the country-young and old, never married, divorced and widowed, childless and single mothers-to talk about being single. How did they get there? Were they sorry or glad? What is the texture of their experience? The heart of this book is the individual voices of the women answering these questions, heard in all their tenacity and humor. "The Improvised Woman doesn't glide over the messy contradictions that accompany being human. . . . Clements gives her interviewees center stage to speak their minds, and appends a series of thoughtful, witty essays."―Newsweek "[Clements] is wise, non-judgmental and patient as she gains the trust of these women, who appear to be as interested in this study as the author is-and as readers, especially other single women, will be."―Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

Review:

We have come a long way, baby. When a group of women were asked what the ideal relationship was, none of them mentioned traditional marriage. Hmmm. Far from a collection of woeful tales of singledom, The Improvised Woman thoroughly debunks the traditional perception of lonely single women. Author Marcelle Clements takes a journalistic view of her interviewees, who range in age from their 20s to their 90s, and her objectiveness is refreshingly telling. Says one woman about her lover, "I would never marry him. I think any woman who reaches a mature age would be foolish to. Why should I give up my independence? Why should I give up my privacy?"

The majority of women that Clements talked to certainly aren't afraid of single motherhood ("it's much easier to raise children by yourself than to handle children and be a wife at the same time"). Their lives are full of passion--but passion for anything but men. Most of the divorced and widowed women profiled in the book are much more self-actualized and content with their lives than they were when they were married. A frequent refrain heard from these women is that "the ones who aren't hopeless are married," and that it's better to be alone than to feel lonely while maintaining empty relationships, which one woman described as "unsatisfying limbos."

This hefty, illuminating book will not only make for empowering reading for single women, but it could also be a kick in the pants for those men who claim that women are inscrutable. The beliefs and self-perceptions of the women profiled in this book--on subjects such as sex, work, romance, and family--are powerful testimonies about what it means to be female at the turn of the century. Clements has compiled a lively chunk of sociological history here. --Erica Jorgensen

From the Back Cover:

"What a great book. The original and lively voices of the dozens of women here tell the astonishing story of modern marriage and unmarriage. More important, Clements' wry and generous cultural clairvoyance gives us permission to be ourselves, to invent our own lives, and to approach the impossibly complicated relations between men and women with wit and integrity."--Susan Cheever

"Everyone knows that a transformation in social relations of enormous proportions is going on in America: everyone is affected, and everyone is improvising in response. But few have the adroitness and grace to listen to the improvisation--to catch its complexity. Marcelle Clements does. And the result of her interviewing artistry is a wonderful sourcebook: a huge piece of the social puzzle rises up vive voce." --Elisabeth Young-Bruehl

"Well, now the dirty little secret is out! Instead of sobbing over their solitary microwaved TV dinners, a great many single adult women are leading quite varied, interesting, highly independent, and eminently fulfilling lives. This is an eye-opening, wonderfully written illuminating book." --Maggie Scarf

"This book gave me the most fabulous weekend. I spent all day yesterday in front of the fireplace with it, savoring it, marveling at Clements' prodigious mind and reach, nodding vociferously in parts, rereading other parts just for the pure pleasure of her voice. The improvised Woman is a gift to single women and their huge invisible revolution. Marcelle Clements not only dispels the odious myths, she also gives us visibility and the confidence to be seen and heard and respected." --Mary Kay Blakely

"Who is living the well-lived life, and how are they living it? These are the questions Marcelle Clements asks in a book that shows how far most women's lives depart from the one tale--the fairy tale--we've all grown up on. The young women Clements speaks with--articulate, truthful, and funny--are telling a whole new story about fulfillment, esteem, relationship, aloneness. It's important that all of us, married or single, with or without children, listen. This book is strong and riveting." --Dalma Heyn

"It's your life, honey, but I'm telling you--you want this book. Marcelle Clements tunes into he station called Single Women, but instead of static, she finds a whole new song to dance to. And she's just the writer to do this, sharp, fearless, and profound. Here are the women the world used to feel sorry for, but after you read her book, you will never see them--us!--as anything but cool." --E. Jean Carroll

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

Top Search Results from the AbeBooks Marketplace

1.

Marcelle Clements
Published by W. W. Norton & Company (1999)
ISBN 10: 0393319539 ISBN 13: 9780393319538
New Softcover Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Irish Booksellers
(Portland, ME, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description W. W. Norton & Company, 1999. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M0393319539

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 13.98
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

2.

Marcelle Clements
Published by W. W. Norton & Company (1999)
ISBN 10: 0393319539 ISBN 13: 9780393319538
New Paperback Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Ergodebooks
(RICHMOND, TX, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description W. W. Norton & Company, 1999. Paperback. Condition: New. Seller Inventory # DADAX0393319539

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 9.10
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 4.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

3.

Clements, Marcelle
Published by W. W. Norton & Company (2018)
ISBN 10: 0393319539 ISBN 13: 9780393319538
New Paperback Quantity Available: > 20
Print on Demand
Seller:
Murray Media
(North Miami Beach, FL, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description W. W. Norton & Company, 2018. Paperback. Condition: New. Never used! This item is printed on demand. Seller Inventory # 0393319539

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 19.17
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 1.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

4.

Marcelle Clements
Published by WW Norton Co, United States (1999)
ISBN 10: 0393319539 ISBN 13: 9780393319538
New Paperback Quantity Available: 10
Print on Demand
Seller:
Book Depository International
(London, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description WW Norton Co, United States, 1999. Paperback. Condition: New. Revised ed.. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****. What is it like being a single woman today? A groundbreaking work of scope, wit, and exceptional empathy, The Improvised Woman answers that complex question, while in the process capturing-and celebrating-the real lives of single American women. Over the past seven years, journalist and essayist Marcelle Clements asked over one hundred women from across the country-young and old, never married, divorced and widowed, childless and single mothers-to talk about being single. How did they get there? Were they sorry or glad? What is the texture of their experience? The heart of this book is the individual voices of the women answering these questions, heard in all their tenacity and humor. The Improvised Woman doesn t glide over the messy contradictions that accompany being human. . . . Clements gives her interviewees center stage to speak their minds, and appends a series of thoughtful, witty essays. -Newsweek [Clements] is wise, non-judgmental and patient as she gains the trust of these women, who appear to be as interested in this study as the author is-and as readers, especially other single women, will be. -Publishers Weekly (starred review). Seller Inventory # APC9780393319538

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 22.82
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

5.

Clements, Marcelle
Published by W. W. Norton and#38; Company (2000)
ISBN 10: 0393319539 ISBN 13: 9780393319538
New Quantity Available: > 20
Print on Demand
Seller:
Pbshop
(Wood Dale, IL, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description W. W. Norton and#38; Company, 2000. PAP. Condition: New. New Book. Shipped from US within 10 to 14 business days. THIS BOOK IS PRINTED ON DEMAND. Established seller since 2000. Seller Inventory # IQ-9780393319538

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 19.04
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

6.

Marcelle Clements
Published by WW Norton Co, United States (1999)
ISBN 10: 0393319539 ISBN 13: 9780393319538
New Paperback Quantity Available: 10
Print on Demand
Seller:
The Book Depository
(London, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description WW Norton Co, United States, 1999. Paperback. Condition: New. Revised ed.. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****.What is it like being a single woman today? A groundbreaking work of scope, wit, and exceptional empathy, The Improvised Woman answers that complex question, while in the process capturing-and celebrating-the real lives of single American women. Over the past seven years, journalist and essayist Marcelle Clements asked over one hundred women from across the country-young and old, never married, divorced and widowed, childless and single mothers-to talk about being single. How did they get there? Were they sorry or glad? What is the texture of their experience? The heart of this book is the individual voices of the women answering these questions, heard in all their tenacity and humor. The Improvised Woman doesn t glide over the messy contradictions that accompany being human. . . . Clements gives her interviewees center stage to speak their minds, and appends a series of thoughtful, witty essays. -Newsweek [Clements] is wise, non-judgmental and patient as she gains the trust of these women, who appear to be as interested in this study as the author is-and as readers, especially other single women, will be. -Publishers Weekly (starred review). Seller Inventory # APC9780393319538

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 23.31
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

7.

Marcelle Clements
Published by W. W. Norton & Company
ISBN 10: 0393319539 ISBN 13: 9780393319538
New Paperback Quantity Available: > 20
Seller:
BuySomeBooks
(Las Vegas, NV, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description W. W. Norton & Company. Paperback. Condition: New. 352 pages. Dimensions: 8.2in. x 5.5in. x 0.8in.A remarkable new book. . . . Marcelle Clementss The Improvised Woman has that exhilarating Eureka! quality. . . . In its modest, quizzical way, The Improvised Woman is a visionary work. Mirabella What is it like being a single woman today A groundbreaking work of scope, wit, and exceptional empathy, The Improvised Woman answers that complex question, while in the process capturing-and celebrating-the real lives of single American women. Over the past seven years, journalist and essayist Marcelle Clements asked over one hundred women from across the country-young and old, never married, divorced and widowed, childless and single mothers-to talk about being single. How did they get there Were they sorry or glad What is the texture of their experience The heart of this book is the individual voices of the women answering these questions, heard in all their tenacity and humor. The Improvised Woman doesnt glide over the messy contradictions that accompany being human. . . . Clements gives her interviewees center stage to speak their minds, and appends a series of thoughtful, witty essays. Newsweek Clements is wise, non-judgmental and patient as she gains the trust of these women, who appear to be as interested in this study as the author is-and as readers, especially other single women, will be. Publishers Weekly (starred review) This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Paperback. Seller Inventory # 9780393319538

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 23.96
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

8.

Clements, Marcelle
Published by W. W. Norton and#38; Company (2000)
ISBN 10: 0393319539 ISBN 13: 9780393319538
New Quantity Available: > 20
Print on Demand
Seller:
Books2Anywhere
(Fairford, GLOS, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description W. W. Norton and#38; Company, 2000. PAP. Condition: New. New Book. Delivered from our UK warehouse in 4 to 14 business days. THIS BOOK IS PRINTED ON DEMAND. Established seller since 2000. Seller Inventory # IQ-9780393319538

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 20.62
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 12.68
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

9.

Marcelle Clements
Published by W W Norton & Co Inc (1999)
ISBN 10: 0393319539 ISBN 13: 9780393319538
New Paperback Quantity Available: 2
Seller:
Revaluation Books
(Exeter, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description W W Norton & Co Inc, 1999. Paperback. Condition: Brand New. new edition. 352 pages. 8.25x5.75x1.00 inches. In Stock. Seller Inventory # x-0393319539

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 30.59
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 8.44
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

10.

Clements, Marcelle
Published by W. W. Norton & Company
ISBN 10: 0393319539 ISBN 13: 9780393319538
New PAPERBACK Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Cloud 9 Books
(Wellington, FL, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description W. W. Norton & Company. PAPERBACK. Condition: New. 0393319539 New Condition. Seller Inventory # NEW7.1065525

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 59.99
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 4.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds