Synopses & Reviews
"The brilliant mind behind Party of One examines the striking social trend: people are stuck and they want to change, but..." (San Francisco Chronicle)
In this book, Anneli Rufus identifies an intriguing aspect of our culture: Many of us are stuck. Be it in the wrong relationship, career, or town, or just with bad habits we can't seem to quit, we even say we want to make a change, but . . . Merging interviews, personal anecdotes, and cultural criticism, Stuck is a wise and passionate exploration of the dreams we hold dearest for ourselves-and the road to actually achieving them.
When faced with the possibility of change, our minds can play tricks on us. We tell ourselves: I can't make it. Or, It's not worth the effort. How is it that in a time of unprecedented freedom and opportunity, so many of us feel utterly powerless and unsure? In this book, Rufus exposes a complex network of causes for our immobilization- from fear and denial to powerful messages in popular culture or mass media that conspire to convince us that we're helpless in the face of our cravings. But there can be a light at the end of the tunnel: Rufus also tells the stories of people who have managed to become unstuck and of others who, after much reflection, have decided that where they are is best. After all, she writes, "what looks to you like a rut, others might say is true absorption in a topic, a relationship, a career, a pursuit, a place. What looks to you like boredom, others call commitment. And even contentment."
A brilliant glimpse into what truly motivates-or doesn't motivate-us, Stuck will inspire you to take a look at yourself in an entirely new light.
"Rufus (Party of One) investigates why in a time when 'no population anywhere has ever been so free... somehow we all feel stuck,' sorting various feelings of paralysis into six major categories: we are stuck in the past, stuck in the present, creatures of habit, addicted to trauma, co-dependent and unwilling to find job fulfillment. Almost immediately, the author becomes hopelessly tangled in an entire nation's neuroses that won't conform to neat classifications that are meant to accommodate afflictions as diverse as shellshock, obesity, procrastination, infidelity and being constantly late. Rufus undermines her own points often, because she provides scant evidence to buttress her frequent lament that things just aren't the way they used to be. 'It's as if a generation has lost faith in going out to seek their fortunes,' she contends, but provides no data to prove that more adult children are living with their parents than in previous generations. The book combines an uneasy mixture of pop psychology and glib analysis. While Rufus's premise is provocative, it remains mired in poor presentation and groundless assertions." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
was named by Readers' Digest
as one of the Great New Books of January 2009.
"The brilliant mind behind Party of One examines a striking social trend: people are stuck and they want to change, but...."
—San Francisco Chronicle
"Astonishingly insightful book. This thought-provoking paperback of cultural criticism covers a lot of territory as Rufus probes the unhappiness of many American citizens who feel trapped, bored, and in a rut. She also takes a look at some of the self-imposed obstacles which keep us imprisoned: denial, fear, obsession, confusion, and delusion."
—Spirituality and Practice
Praise for Party of One:
“A founding manifesto for an organization of self-contained people.... A clever and spirited defense.” —Kirkus Reviews
A brilliantly written tour through many livesand a nation stranded at the crossroads
In Stuck the author of the highly praised Party of One: The Loners Manifesto identifies a rather striking social trend: many people are stuck. Be it in the wrong relationship, the wrong career, the wrong town, or with the wrong friends, some of them even say they want to make a change but . . . somehow . . . never get the job done.
A self-described adolescent in size-ten shoes who is also a happily married homeowner with a masters degree, Anneli Rufus knows whereof she speaks. In this book, she draws on her own life experience as well as interviews with others who are alsoin some way or another, and to differing degreesimmobilized. Tracing the many subtle ways in which American culture often conspires to keep us stalled, Rufus delivers a long-awaited diagnosis for our day and age: stuck. But there can be a light at the end of the tunnel; Rufus also tells the stories of people who managed to become unstuck and of others who, after much reflection, decided that where they are is best. After all, she says: What looks to you like paralysis looks to others like passion. What looks to you like a rut, others would call commitment, true absorption in a topic, a relationship, a career, a pursuit, a place. What looks to you like boredom, others call commitment. And even contentment.
Stuck is a wise and passionate exploration of the dreams we hold dearest for ourselvesand the road to actually achieving them.
The author of "Party of One" identifies a rather striking social trend--many people are stuck in the wrong relationship, career, or town, but are unable to make a change. Drawing on her own experiences, as well as interviews with others, Rufus addresses this problem.
About the Author
Anneli Rufus is the critically acclaimed author of four nonfiction books including The Scavengers' Manifesto and Party of One: A Loner's Manifesto. An award-winning journalist and poet, she has written for dozens of publications including the San Francisco Chronicle, the Los Angeles Times, the Boston Globe, and Salon. She lives in Berkeley, California.