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After two divorces and more than two decades as a psychoanalyst, Falk is an expert on the concept of being a woman alone—a term she prefers because "as a distinct category within women's culture, it formally elevates our presence and status, helps us to achieve visibility and expression, and allows us to redress our marginalized state." Hyperbole aside, there's no denying that to embrace being a woman alone isn't easy in a society where "bachelors are always eligible," while " 'spinsters,' almost by definition, are ready for the dumpster." But as Falk makes clear in this useful and appealing manual, it's inaccurate, unfair and unhealthy to equate being alone with being unwanted or a failure. Some may cringe at her flowery language, but she offers plenty of evidence for her central thesis that "aloneness is an opportunity, a state brimming with potentiality, with resources for renewed life." Drawing from her own experiences, those of her patients, and examples from such writers as Marion Milner and cultural figures like Kitty Carlisle Hart, Falk offers plenty of material to help even women with partners to understand the distinction between being abandoned and choosing to be alone, and to appreciate the healing and nurturing benefits of solitude. (Mar.)Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.