Vintage £7.99 (288pp) (free p&p) from the Independent Bookshop: 08430 600 030
Chastened, By Hephzibah Anderson
Friday 12 February 2010
One Valentine's Day, the literary critic Hephziabah Anderson went to bed with a pile of escapist novels, reminding herself that "though I felt lonely, I'd felt lonelier in the past with a lover by my side".
Wearied by the merry-go-round of modern courtship - sex by at least the third date - Anderson decided to forgo sleepovers for a year. This candid account of her "gap" year – much of it spent in New York – raises questions for a world more shocked by "chastity" than by "pole dancing".
Singletons should take heart: Anderson got to know nicer men (she spent more time talking), wore warmer clothes, wrote better prose and discovered that romance didn't have to be "life's defining drama."
After giving gay film R-rating despite no sex or violencefilm
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