The twenty-two contributors to this volume find a common bond in their diversity, based on their desire to explore ways that single women can live more fully in a society that places such great emphasis on marriage and narrowly defines family as spouse and children. The contributors, ranging in age from 20 to 70, represent numerous vocations and spiritual traditions. Issues of prejudice, poverty, low self-esteem, fear, loneliness, and rage surface as single women tell their stories. Working through difficulties, many found great fulfillment in aloneness and reached significant literary and professional achievements based on strengths gained from successfully overcoming feelings of worthlessness. More than a few women found great sources of strength in deep personal and religious convictions.
MARY O'BRIEN is an Associate Professor of Gerontology and Women's Studies at Mount Saint Vincent University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. CLARE CHRISTIE is an attorney who has also taught classes in gerontology.