TIME

Essential reading for women who’d rather go it alone

IN 1936, A WOMAN NAMED MARJORIE HILLIS wrote a book, a best seller in its time and republished in 2005, called Live Alone and Like It, a guide for the woman who, for whatever reason, finds herself going solo. Hillis, a career woman who did end up marrying, wasn’t saying that single life was for everyone. “But,” she wrote, “the chances are that at some time in your life, possibly only now and then between husbands, you will find yourself settling down to a solitary existence.”

The idea of a woman living on her own may have been more of a novelty in 1936 than it is today. Yet even in 2018, a woman who isn’t married by a certain age or who has chosen not to have children—or who, perhaps, has been unable to conceive and has decided to channel her energy elsewhere—is still an object of some curiosity. Even today,

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