book cover with She I Dare Not Name overlaying a marbled background

She I Dare Not Name : A Spinster’s Meditations on Life

Donna Ward     Recommended by Anne    


In a striking, insightful and very lovely series of essays, Donna Ward descibes the experience of being a single person in contemporary Australian society. She describes a full and fully-examined life in chapters and shorter pieces, from the expected disadvantages like deep loneliness and unsympathetic friends, to the more glaring societal problems such as the way everything from travel to home loans are set up with a family or a couple in mind.

Ward uses the word ‘spinster’ in full knowledge of its pejorative implications, discussing how the independent drive of first wave feminism cannot sit comfortably with those who may not have chosen their single state. The book also dwells on the beauty of an everyday routine which allows undisturbed contemplation, as well as what it means to cultivate a sense of place in the landscape and as a citizen of a country. It is illuminating, soothing and important reading.

Allen & Unwin 2020 

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