In her just published memoir, No One Tells You This, Glynnis MacNicol chronicles her 40th year as a single woman without children, and what it means to live without a blueprint. “The narratives we have around women’s live are very narrow — nearly every story ends with a marriage or a baby. I wanted to tell a story that ended with neither, and yet was (hopefully) still compelling and reflected some truths about my own life and the lives so many women I know are living. And living well!” Amen! Glynnis is the co-founder of a women’s networking group called TheLi.st, and has written for The New York Times, The Guardian, The Cut, and many others. Here is her TueNight 10:
1. On the nightstand: My Year of Rest and Relaxation by Ottessa Moshfegh. I’ve only read the first few pages but already find myself eager to get back to it. I love the premise of a woman alone in a room; it feels like a strange, appealing subversion of A Room of One’s Own; Heartland: A Memoir of Working Hard and Being Broke in the Richest Country on Earth, by Sarah Smarsh. She wrote an essay called “Poor Teeth” a few years ago which really stuck with me, and the the book is a wonderful, complicated, deep-dive into stories we don’t normally hear about the Midwest, which so often gets painted in one great block of red; Feminism is for Everybody, by bell hooks. Felt like a good time to brush up on an old stand-by.
2. Can’t stop/won’t stop: The Handmaid’s Tale. People have been complaining this season is too violent, but part of me feels an obligation to watch — some version of everything in this show is or has happened to women. The other part of me is simply obsessed. Emma Gray and Laura Bassett at HuffPo, who do these great recaps, wrote that’s it’s a horror movie women can’t stop watching, and it really got me thinking about what actually IS horrific for women about our lives, and how we so rarely see that reflected on screen (cf. every trip to the gynecologist).
3. Jam of the minute: The finale of The Americans sent me down a U2 rabbit hole and now I can’t stop listening to “Mothers of the Disappeared” (newly, appallingly, timely).
4. Thing I miss: Life before the internet. I write a bit in my book about living in NYC before the internet, and part of me always misses the sense of quiet, individuality and exploration that felt more possible then.
5. 80s crush: John Taylor of Duran Duran followed by Michael J. Fox (fellow Canadian, which was part of the fascination). Fact: Alex P. Keaton was how I found out who Richard Nixon was.
6. Current crush: Elisabeth Moss.
7. Will whine about: Flying. I travel a lot and can’t kick the fear.
8. Will wine about: 2018.
9. Best thing that happened yesterday: I’ve never been a big theatre person — I have a hard time sitting still for long periods of time — but I saw Angels in America last night and it made me understand for the first time how the theatre can be life-changing. “The world only spins forward.”
10. Looking forward to: The midterms. I don’t think America is done yet.