Female Persuasion
by Wolitzer, Meg

A shy college freshman finds her perspectives transformed by a mentor activist at the center of the women's movement who challenges her to discover herself in ways that take her far from the traditional life she envisioned at the side of her boyfriend. By the best-selling author of The Interestings.

Meg Wolitzer is the New York Times-bestselling author of The Interestings, The Uncoupling, The Ten-Year Nap, The Position, The Wife, and Sleepwalking. She is also the author of the young adult novel Belzhar. Wolitzer lives in New York City.

*Starred Review* Sexually harassed at a frat party her freshman year, wallflower Greer Kadetsky is motivated to speak up about the outrage when feminist icon Faith Frank gives a lecture at her college. She catches Faith's attention in the Q&A, then further captures her interest during a chance encounter afterward. Faith recognizes something in this quietly assertive young woman, something she rewards when Greer approaches her for a job upon graduation. Sadly, Faith's groundbreaking feminist magazine is folding, but Faith and Greer rebound, thanks to a generous offer from a former lover who establishes a philanthropic foundation dedicated to women's causes. Wanting what she's having, Greer's best friend, Zee, pushes her to pass her résumé on to Faith, but Greer's protective of her success and never tells Faith about Zee's interest. The betrayal damages their friendship, just as Greer's burgeoning career drives a wedge between her and her longtime boyfriend when tragedy strikes his family. Sweeping yet intimate, Wolitzer's timely saga places her characters at the heart of a new wave of feminism, one clinging to the old paradigms of protest while encompassing current politics of personal responsibility. In a complex web of friends, lovers, mentors, and rivals, Wolitzer compassionately and artfully discerns the subtle strengths at the core of these essential connections. Copyright 2018 Booklist Reviews.

A decade in the life of a smart, earnest young woman trying to make her way in the world. On Greer Kadetsky's first weekend at Ryland College—a mediocre school she's attending because her parents were too feckless to fill out Yale's financial aid form—she gets groped at a frat party. This isn't the life she was meant to lead: "You [need] to find a way to make your world dynamic," she thinks. Then Greer meets Faith Frank, a second-wave feminist icon who's come to speak at Ryland. During the question-and-answer period, Greer stands up to recount her assault and the college's lackluster response, and, later, Faith gives her a business card. Like a magical amulet in a fairy tale, that card leads Greer to a whole new life: After graduation, she gets a job working for Faith's foundation, Loci, which sponsors conferences about women's issues. That might not be the most cutting-edge approach to feminism, Greer knows, but it will help her enter the conversation. Wolitzer ( Belzhar, 2014, etc.) likes to entice readers with strings of appealing adjectives and juicy details: Faith is both "rich, sophisticated, knowledgeable" and "intense and serious and witty," and she always wears a pair of sexy suede boots. It's easy to fall in love with her, and with Greer, and with Greer's boyfriend, Cory, and her best friend, Zee: They're all deep, interesting characters who want to find ways to support themselves while doing good in the world and having meaningful, pleasurable lives. They have conversations about issues like "abortion rights, and the composition of the Senate, and about human trafficking"; they wrestle with the future of feminism, with racism and classism. None of them is perfect. "Likability has become an issue for women lately," Greer tells an English professor while she's still at Ryland, and Wolitzer has taken up the challenge. Her characters don't always do the right thing, and though she has compassion for all of them, she's ruthless a bout revealing their compromises and treacheries. This symphonic book feels both completely up-to-the-minute and also like a nod to 1970s feminist classics such as The Women's Room, with a can't-put-it-down plot that illuminates both its characters and larger social issues. The perfect feminist blockbuster for our times. Copyright Kirkus 2018 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

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