The Extra Woman

The Extra Woman

How Marjorie Hillis Led A Generation of Women to Live Alone and Like It

Book - 2018
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Presents a cultural history of independent single women between the 1920s and the 1950s through the reclaimed life of glamorous guru Marjorie Hillis.
Publisher: New York : Liveright Publishing Corporation, [2018]
Edition: First edition
Copyright Date: ©2018
ISBN: 9781631492730
Branch Call Number: 305.40973 R85s
Characteristics: 335 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 22 cm


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Chapel_Hill_MarthaW Jan 17, 2019

I had never heard of Marjorie Hillis prior to reading an article about her a year or so ago, which is wild considering how exceptionally famous she was in her heyday. This was a fascinating look at her live alone movement and adeptly showed how revolutionary this was for her time. I particularly enjoyed seeing how it was oversimplified and commodified in the wake of her first book's success, because, well, #capitalism.

Jan 02, 2018

The title, "The Extra Woman" is a referenced to Marjorie Hillis's first book, and her life is the pivot around which the book evolves. The subtitle, however, is misleading, which is unfortunate because there is so much here that would have been better served with something else. "How Marjorie Hillis Led a Generation of Women to Live Alone and Like It" does not tell how the book covers the American obsession with self-help/personal growth books from the early 1900's on or how it follows the changing roles and expectations of American women from World War I to the 1970's. These two topics are so much more interesting than what the subtitle suggests, and the overview of the changes in the lives of American women (covering white middle and upper class only, as lower economic and non-Anglo groups were ignored in writings of this period) is well worth reading for its insight into how American society has arrived where we are today. I can understand my grandmothers' and mother's generations so much better having read this.

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