As a young woman Ariel Levy decided that to be a writer would be like being a professional explorer; she’d be free to do and travel anywhere she chose. When, as a 38-year-old working journalist, she left for a reporting trip to Mongolia she thought she had figured out her life: she was married, pregnant, financially secure and successful on her own terms. A month later, none of that was true.
“In the last few months, I have lost my son, my spouse, and my house. Every morning I wake up and for a few seconds I’m disoriented, confused as to why I feel grief seeping into my body, and then I remember what has become of my life.”
In The Rules Do Not Apply, Levy describes in gorgeous, moving, sharp, unforgettable prose, her own ill-fated assumptions: thinking that anything is possible, that the old rules do not apply, that marriage doesn’t have to mean monogamy, that aging doesn’t have to mean infertility. In telling her own searing story, Levy has captured a portrait of our time, of the shifting forces in American culture, of what has changed and what has remained. And of how to begin again.
Ariel Levy joined The New Yorker as a staff writer in 2008. Levy received the National Magazine Award for Essays and Criticism for her piece “Thanksgiving in Mongolia.” Levy teaches at the Fine Arts Work Center, in Provincetown, Massachusetts, every summer, and was a Visiting Critic at the American Academy in Rome in 2012. She is the author of the book Female Chauvinist Pigs. Before joining The New Yorker, she was a contributing editor at New York for twelve years.
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER - A gorgeous memoir about a woman overcoming dramatic loss and finding reinvention--for readers of Cheryl Strayed and Joan Didion
When Ariel Levy left for a reporting trip to Mongolia in 2012, she was pregnant, married, financially secure, and successful on her own terms. A month later, none of that was true.