The Female Persuasion by Meg Wolitzer
A Novel

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There is an immense generosity to Wolitzer’s even‑handed portrayal of activism subjected to time and exigency; these things are hard, she seems to say, granting her characters a level of latitude not fashionable in today’s shoutfests. But sometimes shouting is needed.
-Guardian

Synopsis

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

“Ultra-readable.” —Vogue 

“Equal parts cotton candy and red meat, in the best way.” —People 
 
“Wolitzer’s social commentary can be as funny as it is queasily on target.” —The Wall Street Journal

“Wolitzer is one of those rare writers who creates droll and entertaining novels of ideas.” —Fresh Air, NPR 
 
From the New York Times-bestselling author of The Interestings, an electric novel not just about who we want to be with, but who we want to be.

To be admired by someone we admire—we all yearn for this: the private, electrifying pleasure of being singled out by someone of esteem. But sometimes it can also mean entry to a new kind of life, a bigger world.

Greer Kadetsky is a shy college freshman when she meets the woman she hopes will change her life. Faith Frank, dazzlingly persuasive and elegant at sixty-three, has been a central pillar of the women’s movement for decades, a figure who inspires others to influence the world. Upon hearing Faith speak for the first time, Greer—madly in love with her boyfriend, Cory, but still full of longing for an ambition that she can’t quite place—feels her inner world light up. And then, astonishingly, Faith invites Greer to make something out of that sense of purpose, leading Greer down the most exciting path of her life as it winds toward and away from her meant-to-be love story with Cory and the future she’d always imagined.

Charming and wise, knowing and witty, Meg Wolitzer delivers a novel about power and influence, ego and loyalty, womanhood and ambition. At its heart, The Female Persuasion is about the flame we all believe is flickering inside of us, waiting to be seen and fanned by the right person at the right time. It’s a story about the people who guide and the people who follow (and how those roles evolve over time), and the desire within all of us to be pulled into the light.
 

About Meg Wolitzer

See more books from this Author
Meg Wolitzer is the author of eight previous novels, including The Ten-Year Nap, The Position, and The Wife. Her short fiction has appeared in The Best American Short Stories and The Pushcart Prize. She lives in New York City.
 
Published April 3, 2018 by Riverhead Books. 463 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Science Fiction & Fantasy. Fiction
Bestseller Status:
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Peak Rank on Apr 22 2018
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Weeks as Bestseller
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Critic reviews for The Female Persuasion
All: 8 | Positive: 7 | Negative: 1

Kirkus

Excellent
on Feb 06 2018

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.

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Star Tribune

Above average
Reviewed by Jackie Thomas-Kennedy on Mar 30 2018

Occasional plot devices aside, the work masterfully captures the highs, lows and unexpected twists of the idealistic life.

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NY Times

Above average
Reviewed by Lena Dunham on Mar 29 2018

It’s all there to parse, and parsed it will be. But when all is said and done, Wolitzer is an infinitely capable creator of human identities that are as real as the type on this page, and her love of her characters shines more brightly than any agenda.

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LA Times

Above average
Reviewed by Maris Kreizman on Mar 29 2018

That said, it's nearly impossible to reach the end of the book without feeling optimistic. No, Greer does not lead an intersectional revolution that challenges systematic misogyny in America for good. But she does join a line of women who help others find their voices...

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Guardian

Good
Reviewed by Alex Clark on Jul 25 2018

There is an immense generosity to Wolitzer’s even‑handed portrayal of activism subjected to time and exigency; these things are hard, she seems to say, granting her characters a level of latitude not fashionable in today’s shoutfests. But sometimes shouting is needed.

Read Full Review of The Female Persuasion: A Novel | See more reviews from Guardian

Guardian

Good
Reviewed by Eva Wiseman on Jun 12 2018

With affection and generosity, Wolitzer exposes the limits of power through a handful of well-meant lives and she leaves us uneasy. The sense that we may have smashed a glass ceiling, but now are standing in the shards, discreetly bleeding.

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NPR

Above average
Reviewed by Maureen Corrigan on Apr 11 2018

There are a few false notes in this novel: chief among them, the ultimate confrontation between Faith and Greer, which echoes the climax of another female mentor tale, The Devil Wears Prada. But, overall, Wolitzer nimbly avoids the canned and simplistic.

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NPR

Good
Reviewed by Annalisa Quinn on Apr 03 2018

The Female Persuasion is a wonderfully solid book, luxuriously long and varied in an almost 19th century kind of way.

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