Category Archives: Literature

Book Review and Thank you to Gail Collins

Dear Gail (can I call you Gail, as one woman to another?),

I know this thank you is coming late, a solid year after your book “When Everything Changed,” was released but the recent history of the American woman was not a subject I could ingest in one sitting.

Your stories of women’s chore-filled, career-driven or baby-burdened lives need to stew a while, allowing time for this 20-soemthing-young-woman to experience and understand the dreams of the waves before me and understand how my own frustratingly convoluted goals fit into the “grand feminist movement.”

I started the book in Dec 2099 in Green Bay, WI b the proverbial fire after my cautiously-feministy mother saw the book and Barnes and Noble and thought of me. I finished it 2 days ago crammed into the corner of the El as fall is settling into Chicago.

While reading your book, I have had 2 breakups (one heart-wrenching, one expected, both needed), 2 job changes (one desperately needed, one pleasantly unexpected, both heart-lifting), and 2 apartments (on filled with cats, lesbians and wine and one filled with curling irons, sports memorabilia and wine). I’ve lost 10 pounds (thank you break up number one), gained 10 pounds (thank you relationship number two) and lost 5 again (thanks week-long-self-inflicted-torture-in-the-form-of-a-smoothie-puree-cleanse). I’ve thought about moving to FL (to mooch off my retired parents), teaching English in Japan (because it’s Japan) or going to grad school in Portland (because that is what quasi-hippies do when they finish undergrad). I’ve pondered my place in this world and much like the young women in your book, I have wondered If I was doing the right thing for myself, for my family or for women everywhere.

I did not find the answers in your book.

But I found that I was in good company. This gives me a sense of ease of life, a much needed emotion, that can’t go without a thank you.

Thank you for writing a book that gave me a tribe of women to ask for advice, to provide strength and most of all to give unwavering sympathy even in opposition.

My goal now is to love life for my freedom of adventure and thank every woman who got onto a bus, walked in a rally or sat at a board table and gave me this freedom.

Sincerely,

An-adventure-seeking, career-driven, future baby-making, long winded young woman

 

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