Introducing “Dedicated To,” a series that looks at the dedication pages in recently released books and the stories behind them.
Glynnis MacNicol’s new book, “No One Tells You This,” explores what life looks like once a woman crosses into her 40s without society’s assumed hallmarks of success — a child and a partner. Taking off just as MacNicol is about to turn 40, a moment that she awaits like a “guillotine,” the author uses the months following her benchmark birthday as a chance to shift her own narrative and revisit what she had been led to expect from both herself and others. What results is an honest examination of what it means to be a woman, sister, daughter, partner and friend.
We asked MacNicol to share a little about her dedication page and how it fits into the larger story of “No One Tells You This.”
Please describe your book in a single statement or question.
If the story doesn’t end with marriage or a child, what then?
Why have you chosen to dedicate your book to your mother and your sister?
I struggle a lot in this book with the stories we tell about women’s lives and the ones we don’t. The narratives we have are so narrow; they didn’t represent my life, but they also do a terrible job of representing the lives of so many women I know, married, mothers or otherwise. My mother and my sister are of course the two women I’ve been closest to the longest and they factor into this book (and my life, obviously), in very significant ways. So it felt appropriate to dedicate the story to them.
How have they influenced the book?
See above. I’m also fortunate to have a strong relationship with my sister’s children, which I’m very grateful for.
Is there a book that you have read that you feel speaks directly to you? What is it?
I’ve never been good at answering these questions; it seems impossible to choose just one book. I feel like if you’re lucky, and read a lot, you tend to find books that speak directly to whatever moment of your life you’re in. However, the books that had the biggest influence on me, without question, were the Little House books, which I read obsessively as a child and gave me the idea early on that chronicling my own life was a worthwhile endeavor.
Top Image: Glynnis MacNicol. Courtesy of Naima Green