In October of 2012, Ariel Levy was pregnant, married, a homeowner, and financially stable. One month later, none of those things were true. This remarkable memoir is the story of her life’s sudden disintegration and how she rebuilt it from scratch. Levy’s exploration of grief’s underbelly is searing. Recommended By Mary Jo S., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
A gorgeous memoir about a woman overcoming dramatic loss and finding reinvention — for readers of Cheryl Strayed and Joan Didion.
When thirty-eight-year-old New Yorker writer Ariel Levy left for a reporting trip to Mongolia in 2012, she was pregnant, married, financially secure, and successful on her own terms. A month later, none of that was true.
Levy picks you up and hurls you through the story of how she built an unconventional life and then watched it fall apart with astonishing speed. Like much of her generation, she was raised to resist traditional rules — about work, about love, and about womanhood.
"I wanted what we all want: everything. We want a mate who feels like family and a lover who is exotic, surprising. We want to be youthful adventurers and middle-aged mothers. We want intimacy and autonomy, safety and stimulation, reassurance and novelty, coziness and thrills. But we can’t have it all."
In this profound and beautiful memoir, Levy chronicles the adventure and heartbreak of being "a woman who is free to do whatever she chooses." Her own story of resilience becomes an unforgettable portrait of the shifting forces in our culture, of what has changed — and of what is eternal.
"The Rules Do Not Apply is heartbreaking, brilliant, and disarming, the kind of book that may change you. Ariel Levy writes with a beauty that is ferociously honest and with the fervor of an explorer. No one else has written so insightfully about the current legacy of feminism’s 'lavish gift' of freedom. Levy has a voice unlike any other. This is a devastating and inspired book." René Steinke
"Ariel Levy is a writer of uncompromising honesty, remarkable clarity, and surprising humor gathered from the wreckage of tragedy. Her account of life doing its darnedest to topple her, and her refusal to be knocked down, will leave you shaken and inspired. I am the better for having read this book." Lena Dunham
"Every deep feeling a human is capable of will be shaken loose by this profound book. Ariel Levy has taken grief and made art out of it." David Sedaris
"I read The Rules Do Not Apply in one long, rapt sitting. Unflinching and intimate, wrenching and revelatory, Ariel Levy’s powerful memoir about love, loss, and finding one’s way shimmers with truth and heart on every page." Cheryl Strayed
A gorgeous, darkly humorous memoir for readers of Cheryl Strayed about a woman overcoming dramatic loss and finding reinvention, as well as a portrait of a generation used to assuming they re entitled to everything based on this award-winning writer s New Yorker article Thanksgiving in Mongolia "
About the Author
Ariel Levy joined The New Yorker as a staff writer in 2008, and received the National Magazine Award for Essays and Criticism in 2014 for her piece "Thanksgiving in Mongolia." She is the author of the book Female Chauvinist Pigs and was a contributing editor at New York for twelve years.
Ariel Levy on PowellsBooks.Blog
The baby, the baby… who would he be? What would he eat? Where would he sleep? Motherhood, you brought question after question, so many problems that needed solving. But you brought something else: a new me, who could solve them — would
solve them, there was never any doubt...