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The Intimate Lives of Single Women
  • Maclean's Magazine National Best Seller
  • Vancouver Sun Best Seller
  • Toronto Star Top Ten 2001 Nonfiction Books
  • National Post
  • Quill & Quire

This book is about the choices that women make to be or become single. It is about the rules they live by and the passions and ambitions that play havoc with those rules. It is about how they play out their game of solitaire.
*—from the Prologue

An excerpt from Solitaire
Women of Solitaire
Bawdy Talk: the kitchen table tapes
In conversation with Marian...
What the readers say...
What the critics say...
Where to buy the book

There are more than 4 million single women in Canada. We range in age from early 20s to late 90s; we are career women and single mothers, accountants, bartenders, and artists; we are divorcees and lesbians, widows and spinsters. Even women who marry will in fact be single for most of their lives, before and after marriage. We are a powerful socio-economic group: almost a million single women are identified by Statistics Canada as heading households of two or more. But single women are still perceived as being disadvantaged, insignificant, subordinate, or invisible. A single woman is still a woman without a man, poor thing.

I wanted to find out more about Canadian single women, why they are single, what they love and hate about being single. I travelled across the country and interviewed more than 150 single women. Together, we explored life stories and family histories and closely held secrets. We talked about dating and cats and condoms and condos. We lamented the shortage of men, the woes and pleasures of motherhood and celibacy, our fears about illness and death. Who sees you naked? I asked. Do you have a secret relationship? Where will you be buried?

I found ways in which single women of different ages and places are different from one another. But there are many experiences we share, no matter what our age or circumstances, no matter if we are contented with our single status or dying for sex and companionship, or, as is often the case, both!

The single women I met are individuals who will not be stereotyped, who are not willing to conform or settle, who prefer to be alone rather than remain in dysfunctional relationships. They are not characters from Ally McBeal or Bridget Jones, desperate to find a man. Their stories – filled with candour and humour and insight – reveal that they are breaking the traditional rules and successfully changing the way the game is played.

If you have read Solitaire, send me an e-mail at marian@marianbotsfordfraser.ca with your thoughts about the book.

Where to buy this book
Solitaire is currently available in hardcover at bookstores across Canada. The book can also be purchased online at amazon.com and at Chapters.Indigo.ca.

Solitaire: The Intimate Lives of Single Women
1-55199-064-4 / 295pp / $36.99