A sequel, and a corrective: In the first Daily Rituals, I featured far more men than women; in this second volume, I correct the imbalance with profiles of the day-to-day working lives of 143 women writers, artists, and performers, including:

  • Octavia Butler, who wrote every day no matter what. “Screw inspiration,” she said.

  • Isak Dinesen, who subsisted on oysters and champagne but also amphetamines, which gave her the overdrive she required.

  • The American sculptor Harriet Hosmer, who believed female artists should never marry and thus “waged an eternal feud with the consolidating knot.”

  • Martha Graham, who eschewed socializing in favor of long hours alone in her studio: “Talk is a privilege and one must deny oneself that privilege.”

  • Lillian Hellman, who chain-smoked three packs of cigarettes and drank twenty cups of coffee a day (after milking the cow and cleaning the barn on her Hardscrabble Farm), and who carried projects forward on successive currents of “elation, depression, hope.”

. . . and 138 others on their daily routines, superstitions, fears, eating (and drinking) habits, and other finely—and not so finely— calibrated rituals.

Coming March 5, 2019. Pre-order it now from Amazon, B&N, IndieBound, or Powell’s.


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To be published on March 7, 2019. Pre-order it now from Amazon, Foyles, Hive, or Waterstones.