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From the bestselling author of The Wife and The Interestings comes a warm and immersive novel about ambition, power, women, friendship and finding your place in the world

** Selected by 8 National Newspapers as a Book of the Year **
** The New York Times Bestseller **

‘A page-turner that succeeds both at character and ideas’ Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

A warm and immersive novel about ambition, power, women, friendship and finding your place in the world, from the bestselling author of The Wife and The Interestings.

Greer Kadetsky is a shy college student when she meets the person who will change her life.
Faith Frank, an influential and glamorous figure from the women’s movement, inhabits a very different world to Greer’s. But after a chance encounter Faith singles Greer out and invites her into her life, leading her down a thrilling path as it winds towards and away from her meant-to-be love story with high school sweetheart Cory and the future she had always imagined.

Expansive and wise, compassionate and witty, The Female Persuasion is about the spark we all believe is flickering inside us, waiting to be seen and fanned by the right person at the right time.


The Female Persuasion has gone straight into my library of favourite novels ever, on a shelf next to David Copperfield, Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant, Lonesome Dove, and Love in a Time of Cholera

Nick Hornby

'The novel’s timeliness cannot be understated...tight but inclusive, and deserves to be placed on shelves alongside such ornate modern novels beginning in college as A Little Life, The Secret History and The Marriage Plot... But when all is said and done, Wolitzer is an infinitely capable creator of human identities that are as real as the type on this page, and her love of her characters shines more brightly than any agenda

Lena Dunham, New York Times Book Review

The Female Persuasion is wonderfully dense and wise, a page-turner that succeeds both at character and ideas. It felt true to life

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Guardian

Deft and funny…trenchant, clever, displaying a pitch-perfect recollection of the idealism of early adulthood and what life subsequently does to undo it

Emma Brockes, Guardian

From the very first page of any novel by Meg Wolitzer, you feel in safe hands. She is skilful and confident…she is exceptionally gifted in the neglected craft of plotting...like a modern-day Edith Wharton, she has an instinctive understanding that tragedy and comedy are different sides of the same coin... How could you fail to love such a writer?

Craig Brown, Mail on Sunday

sympathetically satirises this complicated landscape of contemporary feminism...warm and witty, and necessary...With affection and generosity, Wolitzer exposes the limits of power through a handful of well-meant lives and she leaves us uneasy. The sense that we may have smashed a glass ceiling, but now are standing in the shards, discreetly bleeding

Eva Wiseman, Observer

No novelist I can think of has majored on the group portrait with quite such verve, wit and sympathy as Meg Wolitzer

Ferdinand Mount, Spectator

Wolitzer is an astute observe of cultural nuance, particularly around gender and inequality

Lucy Atkins, Sunday Times

Wolitzer is an irresistibly charming novelist, a keen, affectionate examiner of society

Alexandra Schwartz, New Yorker

An ambitious overview of the women's movement...her writing is peppered with wit and her send-up of various sacred cows is often funny

Kate Saunders, The Times

Ambitious...startlingly perceptive...full of Wolitzer's trademark wit and insight...strong enough to remind us that we can change the world, one woman at a time

Washington Post

There’s much more to admire here as the novel ponders friendship, love and parent-child relationships. But in the end, Wolitzer’s real gift to her readers is a story that feels both timeless and very much of the zeitgeist.

Daily Mail

The Female Persuasion is…a gripping novel that will stay with you long after you’ve turned the final page

Erica Wagner, Harper's Bazaar

A remarkable study of how feminism has evolved over the last thirty years and what it means to be empowered in the 21st century.

Hailey Maitland, Vogue

Clever and entertaining...incisive without being acerbic, Wolitzer’s novel is unpredictably plotted, persuasively observed and often very funny

Anthony Cummins, Prospect

Begins with a campus assault and evolves into an exploration of intergenerational feminism, steeped in the cultural conversation of today… A deft portrayal of the complexity of human identity.

Matthew Janney, Culture Trip

The textures of the world Wolitzer describes feel satisfyingly right… Wolitzer holds attention with her warm grasp of character and careful, probing working out of personality under the forces of time and trauma’

Sarah Ditum, New Statesman

Meg Wolitzer bores into the barbed tangles of contemporary feminism with disarming charm… Captures the ambition and angst of growing up with warmth and wisdom in a book that’s at once searingly intelligent and gloriously light.

Lucy Brooks, CultureWhisper

Meg Wolitzer's tale of feminism's generational differences is much richer than mere polemical tract

Lucy Scholes, Independent

An effortless read


Bustling, large-hearted... The Female Persuasion discusses timely issues of feminism...but does so through fully realised characters


it deftly interweaves the political with the personal... clear and smart

Emma Jacobs, Financial Times

[Woltizer is] interested in the complexities of being female… This is an unashamedly traditional novel of ideas, not afraid to boldly inhabit the moment we live in

Claire Allfree, Daily Telegraph

A significant contribution to Wolitzer’s body of work

Alex Clark, Guardian

Wolitzer’s prose is direct and engaging… her characters feel alive and individual

Josie Mitchell, Literary Review

My favourite book of the year… Wolitzer deserves more recognition: she is as talented a storyteller as Donna Tartt, as funny as Jonathan Franzen, but she has her own distinct brilliance

Rebecca Rose, Financial Times, **Books of the Year**

Wolitzer is an empathy delivery system

Financial Times, **FT Readers' Books of the Year**

The end will leave you simmering with impotent rage, which sounds about right for 2018

Lucy Hunter Johnston, Evening Standard, **Books of the Year**

There’s lots to enjoy here – the plot is pacy and you’ll come to care and deeply invest in these characters through Wolitzer’s brilliantly sharp prose

Ella Walker, Herald Scotland

- Meg Wolitzer captures the zeitgeist like no one else


[W]arm and witty, and necessary… With affection and generosity, Wolitzer exposes the limits of power

Eva Wiseman, Observer

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Formats & editions

  • Paperback


    May 7, 2019


    464 pages

    RRP $19.99

    Online retailers

    • Amazon
    • Angus & Robertson Bookworld
    • Booktopia
    • Dymocks
    • Abbey's Bookshop
    • Boomerang Books
    • Collins Booksellers
    • Books Kinokuniya
    • QBD
    • Readings
    • Robinsons Bookshop
    • The Nile

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

  • EBook


    April 30, 2018

    Vintage Digital

    464 pages

    Online retailers

    • Amazon Kindle AU
    • iBooks
    • Google Play EBook AU
    • Kobo Ebook
    • Booktopia
    • eBooks


Greer Kadetsky met Faith Frank in October of 2006 at Ryland College, where Faith had come to deliver the Edmund and Wilhelmina Ryland Memorial Lecture; and though that night the chapel was full of students, some of them boiling over with loudmouthed commentary, it seemed astonishing but true that out of everyone there, Greer was the one to interest Faith. Greer, a freshman then at this undistinguished school in southern Connecticut, was selectively and furiously shy. She could give answers easily, but rarely opinions. “Which makes no sense, because I am stuffed with opinions. I am a piñata of opinions,” she’d said to Cory during one of their nightly Skype sessions since college had separated them. She’d always been a tireless student and a constant reader, but she found it impossible to speak in the wild and free ways that other people did. For most of her life it hadn’t mattered, but now it did.

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Book Clubs
The Female Persuasion Book Club Notes

An electric novel about power and influence, ego and loyalty, womanhood and ambition – perfect for your next book club meeting.

Also by Meg Wolitzer