One's Company: Reflections on Living Alone

One's Company: Reflections on Living Alone

by Barbara Holland
     
 
With pizzazz and bracing honesty, Barbara Holland, author of Endangered Pleasures, guides us through the exiguous terrain of living alone. She hasn't missed a thing — from the pifþing tragicomedies of the everyday angsts ("Preheating an oven and making it work for an hour just for our own personal dinner seems, well, disproportionate") to the eerie

Overview

With pizzazz and bracing honesty, Barbara Holland, author of Endangered Pleasures, guides us through the exiguous terrain of living alone. She hasn't missed a thing — from the pifþing tragicomedies of the everyday angsts ("Preheating an oven and making it work for an hour just for our own personal dinner seems, well, disproportionate") to the eerie and fragile anarchy of it all ("There's a danger, in certain moods and at certain times of year, of simply blowing off the face of the world like a scrap of crumpled paper"). Holland gives voice to the "uncoupled" state with elegance, perspicuity, and spunk. What she is ultimately writing about, however, and what a reader responds to whether living single or surrounded by family, is the unending, unavoidable challenge of inventing one's self, of our common need to "Þnd some grace and pleasure in our condition."

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Holland ( Secrets of the Cat ) seemingly never got over her divorce of some years ago. In a book so melancholic it's a downer, she reflects on the single state, offering such banalities as ``Doing is important. We are what we do.'' On the occasions when she does take an upbeat position, invariably she counters it with an ``on the other hand'' observation: she notes that solitaries have more opportunities for expanding their social circle, for example, then admits meeting people who aren't troubled is a problem. Solitaries--i.e., women without men--often don't understand the machinery of their surroundings, determines Holland, so she instructs them on how to repair a lock and change a fuse; because she thinks they don't eat properly, she offers recipes for dishes like tamale pie. Solitaries, Holland assumes, flounder, need ways to ``fasten themselves to the world,'' want guidance on how to make the afternoon pass. Those with time on their hands, however, would do better not to look to Holland to fill it. (June)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780345375551
Publisher:
Random House Publishing Group
Publication date:
04/28/1992
Edition description:
1st ed
Pages:
160

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