Nancy A. Nichols, author of Women Behind the Wheel, in conversation with Alexis Rizzuto

Porter Square Books and GrubStreet are delighted to welcome Nancy A. Nichols for the release of Women Behind the Wheel! Alexis Rizzuto will join Nichols in conversation. This event will take place on Monday, March 25 at 7pm at Porter Square Books: Boston Edition (50 Liberty Dr., Boston, MA 02210).

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This event is co-sponsored by GrubStreet and Porter Square Books



From the adolescent thrill of getting a driver's license to the dreaded commutes of adulthood, from vintage muscle cars to electric vehicles, this groundbreaking book reveals the outsized impact the car has had—and will continue to have—on the lives of women.

Since their inception cars have defined American culture, but until quite recently car histories were largely written by and about men—with little attention given to the fascinating story of women and cars.

In this engaging non-fiction narrative, Nancy A. Nichols, the daughter of a used car salesman, uses the cars her father sold and the ones her family drove to tell a larger story about how the car helped to define modern womanhood. From her sister’s classic Mustang to her mother’s Chevy Convertible to her own Honda minivan, Nichols tells a personal story in order to shed light on a universal one.

Cars helped women secure the right to vote, changed the nature of romance, and influenced both fashion and child rearing customs. In the just over 100 years since their inception, cars have created possibilities for commerce and romance even as they exposed women to new kinds of danger.

Women Behind the Wheel explores the uniquely gendered landscape of the automobile, detailing the many reasons why cars are both more expensive and more dangerous for women drivers.

The automobile is on the cusp of momentous change. As we advance into the era of electric, connected, and autonomous vehicles, Nichols shows us why we should hit the brakes and look back in the rear-view mirror at this long and fascinating history.

What is the role of the car in our lives? Should we be more skeptical of technology in our society? In Women Behind the Wheel, Nichols argues convincingly that only by understanding the many ways the car has changed us, can we hope to prepare ourselves for this brave new era.


“Fascinating, funny, enraging and often very moving. For all its hard-edged machinery, gender warring and auto-business shenanigans, the emotional engine of this book is Nichols’s own poignant story.”
The New York Times Book Review


Nancy A. Nichols is a journalist, editor, and former broadcaster whose writing has appeared in The Chicago Tribune, The New York Times Book Review, The Harvard Business Review, Glamour Magazine and more. She the author of Lake Effect: Two Sisters and a Town’s Toxic Legacy

A former editor at Beacon Press, Alexis Rizzuto is a freelance editor based in Cambridge. She has taught writing at GrubStreet and currently teaches at Boston College.

Event date: 

Monday, March 25, 2024 - 7:00pm

Event address: 

Porter Square Books: Boston Edition
50 Liberty Drive
Boston, MA 02210

RSVP Form: 

Women Behind the Wheel: An Unexpected and Personal History of the Car By Nancy A. Nichols Cover Image
ISBN: 9781639365593
Availability: In Stock: Click Title to See if it's in CAMBRIDGE or BOSTON
Published: Pegasus Books - March 5th, 2024


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