The Power Notebooks (Hardcover)

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Katie Roiphe, culture writer and author of The Morning After, shares a timely blend of memoir, feminist investigation, and exploration in famous female writers’ lives, in a bold, essential discussion of how strong women experience their power.

Told in a series of notebook entries, Roiphe weaves her often fraught personal experiences with divorce, single motherhood, and relationships with insights into the lives and loves of famous writers such as Sylvia Plath and Simone de Beauvoir. She dissects the way she and other ordinary, powerful women have subjugated their own power time and time again, and she probes brilliantly at the tricky, uncomfortable question of why.

In these informal musings and notes, Roiphe delves into treacherous, largely untalked about, contradictions of contemporary womanhood, going where few writers dare. The Power Notebooks is Roiphe’s most vital, thought provoking, and emotionally intimate work yet.

About the Author

Katie Roiphe is an author and journalist writing about feminist issues. She is most known for writing The Morning After: Sex, Fear, and Feminism, and In Praise of Messy Lives, as well as The Power Notebooks, and has contributed articles to prominent publications like The New York Times, The Washington Post, Harper’s Magazine, Esquire, The Paris Review, Vogue, and Slate. She has a PhD in literature from Princeton University and is the director of the Cultural Reporting and Criticism program at New York University’s Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and children.

Praise For…


"Roiphe’s astute memoir reverberates with rich prose, crisp pacing, and self-compassion." 
Publisher's Weekly

“Katie Roiphe’s gaze is always fierce, merciless, funny, tender, and frank, but never more so than when she turns it on the paradoxes between the public and private lives of strong women, beginning with her own. A moving and brilliant book about the still insoluble equation of women and power.”
—Nicole Krauss, New York Times bestselling author of History of Love

“This brave, richly imagined, unlikely book appears fragmentary at first glance, but it achieves an astonishing coherence that encompasses Roiphe’s own experience and the experience of women she admires and considers.  Her prose is sharp, her insights sudden and gratifying, her way of telling stories deeply engaging.  Her investigation of the internal and external lives of women who grapple with power is itself an act of great power.”
—Andrew Solomon, New York Times bestselling author of Far From the Tree

“An intriguing examination of the complexity of female power in a variety of relationships.” 
Kirkus Reviews


"Katie Roiphe does not so much explode pieties as slice them open and prod their strands apart apart with equal parts rigor and transfixed curiosity."
—Alison Bechdel, New York Times bestselling author of Fun Home

“Ms. Roiphe’s are how you want your essays to sound: lean and literate, not unlike Orwell’s, with a frightening ratio of velocity to torque.”
The New York Times

“Roiphe has always seemed to me a writer to envy. No matter what the occasion, she can be counted on to marry ferocity and erudition in ways that nearly always make her interesting.”
The Wall Street Journal

Product Details
ISBN: 9781982128012
ISBN-10: 1982128011
Publisher: Free Press
Publication Date: March 3rd, 2020
Pages: 256