Societal change comes in many different forms. Sometimes, it comes via a book. In 1962, Sex and the Single Girl hit bookstores. Written by Helen Gurley Brown, it broke barriers and opened doors. Brown’s groundbreaking narrative told women that they didn’t need marriage to be fulfilled and happy.
In May, Sex and the Single Woman: 24 Writers Reimagine Helen Gurley Brown’s Cult Classic, was published. Edited by Eliza Smith and Haley Swanson, it contains a series of essays by well-known authors who apply Brown’s rules and recommendations to their own lives. Each comes from a different background and tells her own story while responding to Brown’s ideas. They also take on some topics that for any number of reasons are not mentioned in the original text. It both honors Brown and takes her recommendations to a level that would have been unfathomable sixty years ago.
I love this book. Though Sex and the Single Girl was and still is groundbreaking, it is firmly set in its era. This anthology is the perfect follow-up. The contributors walk in the footsteps of women like Helen Gurley Brown while creating new paths for future generations of women. For me, it was a reminder of how far we have come and how much further we need to go.
Do I recommend it? Without a doubt.
Sex and the Single Woman: 24 Writers Reimagine Helen Gurley Brown’s Cult Classic is available wherever books are sold.