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This title in other editions

The Meaning of Wife: A Provocative Look at Women and Marriage in the Twenty-First Century

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The Meaning of Wife: A Provocative Look at Women and Marriage in the Twenty-First Century Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Delving into the complex, troubling, and sometimes humorous contradictions, illusions, and realities of contemporary wifehood, this book takes the reader on a journey into the wedding industrial complex. Anne Kingston looks at "wife backlash," and the new wave of neo-traditionalism that urges women to marry young; explores the apotheosis of abused wives and the strange celebration of wives who kill; and muses on the fact that Oprah Winfrey and Martha Stewart, two of the world's wealthiest and most influential women, are both unmarried. The result is an entertaining mix of social, sexual, historical, and economic commentary that is bound to stir debate even as it reframes our view of both women and marriage.
Anne Kingston is a highly regarded social commentator in her native Canada. Her writing has appeared in The Globe and Mail, Saturday Night, Toronto Life, and The Chicago Sun-Times Magazine. Kingston is a columnist for the National Post, where she writes on social and cultural issues.
The word 'wife' is, as the 21st-century begins, so fraught with ambiguity that it has become a litmus test, eliciting from women emotions ranging from longing to antipathy, anxiety to derision. This telling ambiguity is at the heart of Anne Kingston's The Meaning of Wife.

Delving into the complex, troubling, and sometimes humorous contradictions, illusions, and realities of contemporary wifehood, noted social critic Kingston takes us on a fascinating journey into the wedding industrial complex, which elevates the bride to a potent consumer icon; through the recent romanticization of domesticity; and across the conflicted terrain of wifely sexuality. She looks at "wife backlash," and the new wave of neo-traditionalism that urges women to marry before their "best-before" dates expire; explores the apotheosis of abused wives and the strange celebration of wives who kill; and muses on the fact that Oprah Winfrey and Martha Stewart, two of the world's wealthiest and most influential women, are both non-wives whose success has hinged on their understanding of wives.

The Meaning of Wife is an entertaining mix of social, cultural, sexual, historical, and economic commentary that is sure to challenge, inform, and enlighten and even as it reframes our view of both women and marriage.

"The Meaning of Wife styles itself in the tradition of Backlash and The Beauty of Myth: Its pop-culture-literate survey of the last twenty-five years that serves up feminist ideas with a lively touch."The Village Voice
"The Meaning of Wife styles itself in the tradition of Backlash and The Beauty Myth: It's a pop-culture-literate survey of the last twenty-five years that serves up feminist ideas with a lively touch."The Village Voice

"Kingston's spirited romp across the kitchens and boardrooms, bedrooms, courtrooms, and shopping malls of modern culture yields important . . . insights about wifehood in the twenty-first century."Chicago Tribune

"Entertaining . . . Kingston's quirky sensibility (shades of Caitlin Flanagan) and her clever readings of pop culture make this book stand out . . . The analysis is delightful."Newsday

"Smart and sophisticated . . . Kingston's radar is, as always, acute . . . Here's one title the neighborhood book clubs absolutely do not want to wait for in paperback."Toronto Star

"Fascinating . . . With considerable intelligence and objectivity, Kingston provides a historic perspective that elicits anger, sorrow, and belly laughs . . . [The book] raises important questions."Elizabeth Simpson, The Globe and Mail (Toronto)

"Kingston is a sharp writer with an engaging style, and she smartly avoids both right- and left-wing dogmatism . . . [The Meaning of Wife] proves thought-provoking [and zooms] in on all the right questions."Catherine Tunnacliffe, Eye Weekly

"[This is] the most up-to-date and realistic point of view on the world's oldest profession . . . To wed or not to wed? and, once wed, what does the role of wife mean? Anne Kingston's analysis of these and related questions to the evolution of wife is bang on. Scrupulous research has resulted in this must-read for any woman . . . The mainstream media is littered with examples of womanhood and superwoman and Kingston considers it all. From Sex and the City, Ally McBeal, Pretty Womaneven from Princess Diana's fairy tale wedding to the abuse and murder of Nicole SimpsonKingston leaves no aspect of wife or unwife unturned . . . Kingston's mastery of her craft is evident throughout, and she enlightens her readers without marginalizing men or creating the illusion that for women to be empowered, men must be emasculated. Nevertheless, she makes very clear the value of women's work and the status of wife that still exists, no matter how dishevelled the image may be . . . This straightforward analysis of how women are categorized into modern roles of womanhood is guaranteed to inform and reform how women view themselves as wives and women."Christina Erl-Daniels, Empowerment4Women

"Provocative . . . An encyclopedic examination of wifedom . . . The Meaning of Wife offers an entertaining mix of social, sexual, historical, and economic commentary . . . With endnotes, a bibliography, and a handy index, it weighs in as a book that will keep you thinking long after you put it down."Jennifer Davis McDaid, Richmond Times-Dispatch

"The word 'wife' has defined women for untold generations, but who is defining the word itself? Kingston has amassed a wealth of sociological research and tempered it with a wry wit to produce a compelling analysis of the forces behind the marriage message."Suzanne Braun Levine, former editor of Ms. and author of Father Courage and Inventing the Rest of Our Lives

"Billion dollar wedding industry notwithstanding, it appears that as women get more rights, both women and men need a wife and fewer people want to be one. With insight and humor Anne Kingston analyzes the wife, and reveals the many inequalities that still face women."Jennifer Baumgardner and Amy Richards, co-authors of Manifesta and Grassroots

"Kingston has written that rarest of booksa work of trenchant social analysis that is also compulsively readable and culturally hip."Letty Cottin Pogrebin, founding editor of Ms. and author of Three Daughters

"Every wife, former wife, and wife-to-beevery woman, periodshould read this impeccably researched, important, and enlightening book about what the 'w' word means today. Kudos and gratitude to Anne Kingston."Cathi Hanauer, editor of The Bitch in the House and author of My Sister's Bones

"This encyclopedic examination of wifedom should trump wedding magazines on the list of required reading for prospective brides. Canadian journalist Kingston's behind-the-scenes tour of not-always-holy matrimony begins with a visit to the inner sanctum of Vera Wang's exclusive Madison Avenue bridal boutique and ends with an analysis of how much a wife is worth in economic terms. Along the way, she shines her spotlight on the bedroom, several real-world first wives' clubs, Carrie Bradshaw's single-girl lair, and the worlds of women who have killed or maimed abusive husbands . . . Kingston asks

Synopsis:

Delving into the complex, troubling, and sometimes humorous contradictions, illusions, and realities of contemporary wifehood, Kingston offers an entertaining mix of social, sexual, historical, and economic commentary that is bound to stir debate even as it reframes the modern view of both women and marriage.

Synopsis:

Delving into the complex, troubling, and sometimes humorous contradictions, illusions, and realities of contemporary wifehood, this book takes the reader on a journey into the wedding industrial complex. Anne Kingston looks at "wife backlash," and the new wave of neo-traditionalism that urges women to marry young; explores the apotheosis of abused wives and the strange celebration of wives who kill; and muses on the fact that Oprah Winfrey and Martha Stewart, two of the world's wealthiest and most influential women, are both unmarried. The result is an entertaining mix of social, sexual, historical, and economic commentary that is bound to stir debate even as it reframes our view of both women and marriage.

About the Author

Anne Kingston's writing has appeared in The Globe and Mail, Saturday Night, Toronto Life, and The Chicago Sun-Times Magazine. She is a columnist for the National Post, where she writes on social and cultural issues.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780312425005
Author:
Kingston, Anne
Publisher:
Picador USA
Subject:
Women
Subject:
Women's Studies
Subject:
Marriage
Subject:
Sociology - Marriage & Family
Subject:
Identity
Subject:
Women's Studies - General
Subject:
Wives
Subject:
Women -- Social conditions.
Subject:
Sociology | Marriage
Subject:
Family
Subject:
Gender Studies-Womens Studies
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Publication Date:
20060231
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
College/higher education:
Language:
English
Pages:
352
Dimensions:
8.26 x 5.58 x 0.8 in

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Related Subjects

» Health and Self-Help » Self-Help » Relationships
» History and Social Science » Feminist Studies » Family
» History and Social Science » Gender Studies » Womens Studies
» History and Social Science » Sociology » Children and Family

The Meaning of Wife: A Provocative Look at Women and Marriage in the Twenty-First Century Used Trade Paper
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$7.95 In Stock
Product details 352 pages Picador USA - English 9780312425005 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Delving into the complex, troubling, and sometimes humorous contradictions, illusions, and realities of contemporary wifehood, Kingston offers an entertaining mix of social, sexual, historical, and economic commentary that is bound to stir debate even as it reframes the modern view of both women and marriage.
"Synopsis" by ,
Delving into the complex, troubling, and sometimes humorous contradictions, illusions, and realities of contemporary wifehood, this book takes the reader on a journey into the wedding industrial complex. Anne Kingston looks at "wife backlash," and the new wave of neo-traditionalism that urges women to marry young; explores the apotheosis of abused wives and the strange celebration of wives who kill; and muses on the fact that Oprah Winfrey and Martha Stewart, two of the world's wealthiest and most influential women, are both unmarried. The result is an entertaining mix of social, sexual, historical, and economic commentary that is bound to stir debate even as it reframes our view of both women and marriage.

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