If you’ve walked past a bookstore recently, you’ve likely seen the striped, technicolor jacket of Meg Wolitzer’s The Female Persuasion. If you’ve been anywhere in the vicinity of a Barnes & Noble, you’ve definitely seen it, as the novel was recently chosen to spearhead the new Barnes & Noble Book Club. The club’s first meeting was held Wednesday, May 2, and discussions took place in every B&N bookstore across the country. The event was completely free and all participants were treated to a tall hot or iced coffee (and a cookie!) from Starbucks.
(Am I the only one squealing about this deal? I’m definitely keeping my eye out for B&N’s next pick! Just keep in mind that it’s a SEASONAL, not monthly, book club…)
The Barnes & Noble Book Club edition of The Female Persuasion has a reader’s guide and personal essay from the author on “how age and generational differences influence our relationships, power, ambition, and our ideas about identity and womanhood.”
“Books light the fire – whether it’s a book that’s already written, or an empty journal that needs to be filled in.” ― Meg Wolitzer,
Here’s Amazon’s description of the book: “To be admired by someone we admire – we all yearn for this: the private, electrifying pleasure of being singled out by someone of esteem. But sometimes it can also mean entry to a new kind of life, a bigger world. Greer Kadetsky is a shy college freshman when she meets the woman she hopes will change her life. Faith Frank, dazzlingly persuasive and elegant at sixty-three, has been a central pillar of the women’s movement for decades, a figure who inspires others to influence the world.
“Upon hearing Faith speak for the first time, Greer- madly in love with her boyfriend, Cory, but still full of longing for an ambition that she can’t quite place- feels her inner world light up. And then, astonishingly, Faith invites Greer to make something out of that sense of purpose, leading Greer down the most exciting path of her life as it winds toward and away from her meant-to-be love story with Cory and the future she’d always imagined.
“Charming and wise, knowing and witty, Meg Wolitzer delivers a novel about power and influence, ego and loyalty, womanhood and ambition. At its heart, The Female Persuasion is about the flame we all believe is flickering inside of us, waiting to be seen and fanned by the right person at the right time. It’s a story about the people who guide and the people who follow (and how those roles evolve over time), and the desire within all of us to be pulled into the light.”
“But clearly life took people and shook them around until finally they were unrecognizable even to those who had once known them well. Still, there was power in once having known someone.” ― Meg Wolitzer,
The Female Persuasion is Wolitzer’s 12th novel for adults (the New York Times bestselling author has also written the YA book called Belzhar, whose main character, Jam Gallahue, is sent to a therapeutic boarding school to recover from the death of her high-school sweetheart. While there, Jam is “selected for Special Topics in English, a legendary class whose eccentric teacher handpicks her students and gives out journals that, Jam learns, seem to have the ability to take students back to their lives before the disasters that changed them.”)
BookMarks slotted The Female Persuasion firmly in its “Rave” review category. Interested in some critical perspectives?
- “Why Now May (Finally) Be Meg Wolitzer’s Moment”
– The New York Times
- “The Female Persuasion Should Be a Literary Breakout. Will It Be?”
– The Atlantic
- “The Female Persuasion is a brutally intimate novel about intergenerational feminism”
- “Meg Wolitzer Asks The Big Questions In ‘The Female Persuasion’”
- “Meg Wolitzer’s New Novel Takes On the Politics of Women’s Mentorship”
– The New York Times
- “Meg Wolitzer’s ‘Female Persuasion’ captures our era’s gender politics”
– The Washington Post
Fun fact: Meg Wolitzer is the daughter of Hilma Wolitzer, an accomplished author of 14 works of fiction, nonfiction, and YA. Like mother like daughter!