The Female Persuasion

Meg Wolitzer's novel toys with the question of whether to stick with normality or explore the unknown.

Meg Wolitzer

To be admired by someone we admire — we all yearn for this: the private, electrifying pleasure of being singled out by someone of esteem. But sometimes it can also mean entry to a new kind of life, a bigger world.

Greer Kadetsky is a shy college freshman when she meets the woman she hopes will change her life. Faith Frank, dazzlingly persuasive and elegant at 63, has been a central pillar of the women's movement for decades, a figure who inspires others to influence the world. Upon hearing Faith speak for the first time, Greer — though madly in love with her boyfriend, Cory, but full of longing for an ambition that she can't quite place — feels her inner world light up. And then, astonishingly, Faith invites Greer to make something out of that sense of purpose, leading Greer down the most exciting path of her life. A path that winds toward and away from her meant-to-be love story with Cory and the future she'd always imagined.

Charming, wise, knowing and witty, Meg Wolitzer delivers a novel about power and influence; ego and loyalty; womanhood and ambition. At its heart, The Female Persuasion is about the flame we all believe is flickering inside of us, waiting to be seen and fanned by the right person at the right time. It's a story about the people who guide, the people who follow and the desire within all of us to be pulled into the light. (From Riverhead Books)

From the book

Greer Kadetsky met Faith Frank in October of 2006 at Ryland College, where Faith had come to deliver the Edmund and Wilhelmina Ryland Memorial Lecture; and though that night the chapel was full of students, some of them boiling over with loudmouthed commentary, it seemed astonishing but true that out of everyone there, Greer was the one to interest Faith. Greer, a freshman then at this undistinguished school in southern Connecticut, was selectively and furiously shy. She could give answers easily, but rarely opinions. "Which makes no sense, because I am stuffed with opinions. I am a pinata of opinions," she'd said to Cory during one of their nightly Skype sessions since college had separated them. She'd always been a tireless student and a constant reader, but she found it impossible to speak in the wild and free ways that other people did. For most of her life it hadn't mattered, but now it did.


From The Female Persuasion by Meg Wolitzer ©2018. Published by Riverhead Books.

Interviews

Wolitzer talks to guest host Jael Richardson about hew new novel, which deals with female mentorship, power, ambition and how a single encounter can forever change a person. 18:36