Double Bind by Robin Romm
Women on Ambition

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Romm’s collection, which also includes contributions from Roxane Gay, Francine Prose, and others, is a welcome addition to the discourse on a topic that rarely receives the kind of honest and wide-ranging consideration these essays offer. A thoughtfully provocative anthology.
-Kirkus

Synopsis

Breaking the last feminist taboo--once and for all.


Even as toweringly successful women from Gloria Steinem to Beyoncé embrace the word "feminism," the word "ambition," for many, remains loaded with ambivalence. Women who are naturally driven and goal-oriented shy away from it. They’re loath to see themselves—or be seen by others—as aggressive or, worst of all, as a bitch. Double Bind could not come at a more urgent time, a necessary collection that explodes this conflict, examining the concept of female ambition from every angle in essays full of insight, wisdom, humor, and rage.


Perceptively identifying a paradox at the very heart of feminism, editor Robin Romm has marshaled a stunning constellation of thinkers to examine their relationships with ambition with candor, intimacy, and wit. Roxane Gay discusses how race informs and feeds her ambition. Theresa Rebeck takes on Hollywood and confronts her own unquenchable thirst to overcome its sexism. Francine Prose considers the origins of the stigma; Nadia Manzoor discusses its cultural weight. Women who work in fields long-dominated by men—from butchery to tech to dogsledding—weigh in on what it takes to crack that ever-present glass ceiling, and the sometimes unexpected costs of shattering it. The eternally complex questions of aspiration and identity can be made even more treacherous at the dawn of motherhood; Allison Barrett Carter attempts leaning in at home, while Sarah Ruhl tries to uphold her feminist vision within motherhood’s infinite daily compromises.


Taken together, these essays show women from a range of backgrounds and at all stages of their lives and careers grappling with aspiration, failure, achievement, guilt, and, yes, success. Forthright and empowering, Double Bind breaks a long silence, reclaiming "ambition" from the roster of dirty words at last.

 

About Robin Romm

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Robin Romm is the author of the critically acclaimed short story collection, The Mother Garden, which was a finalist for the 2008 PEN USA Fiction Award. Born and raised in Eugene, Oregon, she currently lives in Berkeley, California, and New Mexico, where she is assistant professor of creative writing and literature at the College of Santa Fe.
 
Published April 11, 2017 by Liveright. 311 pages
Genres: Political & Social Sciences, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for Double Bind
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Kirkus

Good
on Jan 31 2017

Romm’s collection, which also includes contributions from Roxane Gay, Francine Prose, and others, is a welcome addition to the discourse on a topic that rarely receives the kind of honest and wide-ranging consideration these essays offer. A thoughtfully provocative anthology.

Read Full Review of Double Bind: Women on Ambition | See more reviews from Kirkus

Star Tribune

Good
Reviewed by LAUREN LEBLANC on May 19 2017

The book's inherent power lies in these two dozen distinctive perspectives on the concept. Through its collective voice, "Double Bind" galvanizes women to embrace ambition without shame or equivocation.

Read Full Review of Double Bind: Women on Ambition | See more reviews from Star Tribune
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