The Rules Do Not Apply: A Memoir (Hardcover)

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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
VogueTimeEsquireEntertainment WeeklyThe GuardianHarper’s BazaarLibrary 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

About the Author


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.

Praise For…


“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


Coverage from NPR



Product Details
ISBN: 9780812996937
ISBN-10: 0812996933
Publisher: Random House
Publication Date: March 14th, 2017
Pages: 224
Language: English