The Rules Do Not Apply
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The Rules Do Not Apply : A Memoir

3.75 (14,494 ratings by Goodreads)
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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER - "This Year's Must-Read Memoir" (W magazine) about the choices a young woman makes in her search for adventure, meaning, and love

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY
Vogue - Time - Esquire - Entertainment Weekly - The Guardian - Harper's Bazaar - Library Journal - NPR All her life, Ariel Levy was told that she was too fervent, too forceful, too much. As a young woman, she decided that becoming a writer would perfectly channel her strength and desire. She would be a professional explorer--"the kind of woman who is free to do whatever she chooses." Levy moved to Manhattan to pursue her dream, and spent years of adventure, traveling all over the world writing stories about unconventional heroines, following their fearless examples in her own life. But when she experiences unthinkable heartbreak, Levy is forced to surrender her illusion of control. In telling her story, Levy has captured a portrait of our time, of the shifting forces in American culture, of what has changed and what has remained. And of how to begin again. Praise for The Rules Do Not Apply "Unflinching and intimate, wrenching and revelatory, Ariel Levy's powerful memoir about love, loss, and finding one's way shimmers with truth and heart on every page."--Cheryl Strayed "Every deep feeling a human is capable of will be shaken loose by this profound book. Ariel Levy has taken grief and made art out of it."--David Sedaris "Beautifully crafted . . . This book is haunting; it is smart and engaging. It was so engrossing that I read it in a day."--The New York Times Book Review "Levy's wise and poignant memoir is the voice of a new generation of women, full of grit, pathos, truth, and inspiration. Being in her presence is energizing and ennobling. Reading her deep little book is inspiring."--San Francisco Book Review

"Levy has the rare gift of seeing herself with fierce, unforgiving clarity. And she deploys prose to match, raw and agile. She plumbs the commotion deep within and takes the measure of her have-it-all generation."--The Atlantic "Cheryl Strayed meets a Nora Ephron movie. You'll laugh, ugly cry, and finish it before the weekend's over."--theSkimm
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Product details

  • Hardback | 224 pages
  • 150 x 211 x 30mm | 386g
  • English
  • 0812996933
  • 9780812996937
  • 28,148

Review Text

"Ariel Levy's 2013 essay 'Thanksgiving in Mongolia' is one of the best pieces of nonfiction I have ever read. If I taught a class on the essay, I would make every damn student memorize it. Levy, a staff writer at The New Yorker, has expanded on this essay into a full memoir out in March, The Rules Do Not Apply. I read it in one big messy gulp, because it is beautiful and heartbreaking and unruly and real. You should preorder it immediately so you can fall into her complicated, funny, and finely wrought world as soon as humanly possible."-Lenny.com

"The Rules Do Not Apply is this year's must-read memoir."-W

"A thoroughly modern memoir, the elements of The Rules Do Not Apply seem plucked not from the script of Girls, which has also been exploring reproductive issues of late, but Transparent-even Portlandia."-The New York Times

"In reflecting on her own life, Levy's tone is deeply honest, and at the same time manages to not be defensive or apologetic about her decisions; she's not judgmental, but remains highly inquisitive. It's a delicate balance, one rarely pulled off. The through line is her struggle to see things as accurately as possible, to translate her gift for interview and narrative into something personally productive. . . . I loved Levy's book, and have followed her work for years, which made interviewing her a slight struggle. I had to navigate around what personally resonated with me and what would mean a great deal to other. . . . If you take anything away from our conversation, I hope it's that you should read The Rules Do Not Apply."-Jezebel

"Frank and unflinchingly sincere . . . A gut-wrenching, emotionally charged work of soul-baring writing in the spirit of Joan Didion, Helen Macdonald, and Elizabeth Gilbert, The Rules Do Not Apply is a must-read for women."-Bustle

"Levy has the rare gift of seeing herself with fierce, unforgiving clarity. And she deploys prose to match, raw and agile. She plumbs the commotion deep within and takes the measure of her have-it-all generation."-The Atlantic

"Cheryl Strayed meets a Nora Ephron movie. You'll laugh, ugly cry, and finish it before the weekend's over."-theSkimm

"[The Rules Do Not Apply] is a short, sharp American memoir in the Mary Karr tradition of life-chronicling. Which is to say that Levy, like Karr, is a natural writer who is also as unsparing and bleakly hilarious as it's possible to be about oneself. . . . I devoured her story in one sitting. It felt, well, greedy. But 'greedy' is how the author characterises herself, so it seemed fine, hopeful even, to read her work in the same way, perhaps absorbing as I went a tiny bit of Levy's remarkable resilience and appetite for life."-Financial Times

"It's an act of courage to hunt for meaning within grief, particularly if the search upends your life and shakes out the contents for all the world to sift through. Ariel Levy embarks on the hunt beautifully in her new memoir. . . . The Rules Do Not Apply is a search for meaning, not reason. It doesn't seek an explanation (outside of the medical one) for the death of Levy's son, any more than it seeks to explain away the love, fear, frustration and other experiences and emotions that take place within her lifetime. Her grief becomes a new part of her-something to understand and get used to. . . . She's brave and generous to share her story, which manages to be beautiful, even as it's stark and wrenching."-Chicago Tribune

"I read The Rules Do Not Apply in one long, rapt sitting. Unflinching and intimate, wrenching and revelatory, Ariel Levy's powerful memoir about love, loss, and finding one's way shimmers with truth and heart on every page."-Cheryl Strayed

"Every deep feeling a human is capable of will be shaken loose by this profound book. Ariel Levy has taken grief and made art out of it."-David Sedaris

"Ariel Levy is a writer of uncompromising honesty, remarkable clarity, and surprising humor gathered from the wreckage of tragedy. Her ac
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Review quote

"I read The Rules Do Not Apply in one long, rapt sitting. Unflinching and intimate, wrenching and revelatory, Ariel Levy's powerful memoir about love, loss, and finding one's way shimmers with truth and heart on every page."--Cheryl Strayed "Every deep feeling a human is capable of will be shaken loose by this profound book. Ariel Levy has taken grief and made art out of it."--David Sedaris "Beautifully crafted . . . This book is haunting; it is smart and engaging. It was so engrossing that I read it in a day."--The New York Times Book Review "Levy's wise and poignant memoir is the voice of a new generation of women, full of grit, pathos, truth, and inspiration. Being in her presence is energizing and ennobling. Reading her deep little book is inspiring."--San Francisco Book Review "Levy has the rare gift of seeing herself with fierce, unforgiving clarity. And she deploys prose to match, raw and agile. She plumbs the commotion deep within and takes the measure of her have-it-all generation."--The Atlantic "Cheryl Strayed meets a Nora Ephron movie. You'll laugh, ugly cry, and finish it before the weekend's over."--theSkimm "This year's must-read memoir."--W "Levy's tone is deeply honest, and at the same time manages to not be defensive or apologetic about her decisions; she's not judgmental, but remains highly inquisitive. The through line is her struggle to see things as accurately as possible, to translate her gift for interview and narrative into something personally productive. . . . I loved Levy's book."--Jezebel "[The Rules Do Not Apply] is a short, sharp American memoir in the Mary Karr tradition of life-chronicling. . . . Levy, like Karr, is a natural writer who is also as unsparing and bleakly hilarious as it's possible to be about oneself. . . . I devoured her story in one sitting."--Financial Times "It's an act of courage to hunt for meaning within grief, particularly if the search upends your life and shakes out the contents for all the world to sift through. Levy embarks on the hunt beautifully."--Chicago Tribune "Frank and unflinchingly sincere . . . A gut-wrenching, emotionally charged work of soul-baring writing in the spirit of Joan Didion, Helen Macdonald, and Elizabeth Gilbert . . . A must-read for women."--Bustle

"Ariel Levy is a writer of uncompromising honesty, remarkable clarity, and surprising humor gathered from the wreckage of tragedy. I am the better for having read this book."--Lena Dunham "Ariel Levy seems to be living out the unlived lives of an entire generation of women, simultaneously. Free to do whatever she chooses, she chooses everything. While reinventing work, marriage, family, pregnancy, sex, and divorce for herself from the ground up, Levy experiences devastating loss. And she recounts it all here with searing intimacy and an unsentimental yet openhearted rigor."--Alison Bechdel
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About Ariel Levy

Ariel Levy joined The New Yorker as a staff writer in 2008, and received the National Magazine Award for Essays and Criticism in 2014 for her piece "Thanksgiving in Mongolia." She is the author of the book Female Chauvinist Pigs and was a contributing editor at New York for twelve years.
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Rating details

14,494 ratings
3.75 out of 5 stars
5 23% (3,335)
4 41% (5,951)
3 27% (3,878)
2 7% (1,019)
1 2% (311)
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