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Why women need wives, and men need lives

'I need a wife'

It’s a common joke among women juggling work and family. But it’s not actually a joke. Having a spouse who takes care of things at home is a Godsend on the domestic front. It’s a potent economic asset on the work front. And it’s an advantage enjoyed – even in our modern society – by vastly more men than women.

Working women are in an advanced, sustained, and chronically under-reported state of wife drought, and there is no sign of rain.

But why is the work-and-family debate always about women? Why don’t men get the same flexibility that women do? In our fixation on the barriers that face women on the way into the workplace, do we forget about the barriers that – for men – still block the exits?

The Wife Drought is about women, men, family and work. Written in Annabel Crabb’s inimitable style, it’s full of candid and funny stories from the author’s work in and around politics and the media, historical nuggets about the role of ‘The Wife’ in Australia, and intriguing research about the attitudes that pulse beneath the surface of egalitarian Australia.

Crabb’s call is for a ceasefire in the gender wars. Rather than a shout of rage, The Wife Drought is the thoughtful, engaging catalyst for a conversation that’s long overdue.

Formats & editions

  • Paperback

    9780857984289

    September 1, 2015

    Ebury Australia

    304 pages

    RRP $22.99

    Online retailers

    • Abbey's Bookshop
    • Amazon
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    • QBD
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    • Robinsons Bookshop
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

  • EBook

    9780857984272

    October 1, 2014

    Random House Australia

    288 pages

    Online retailers

    • iBooks
    • Amazon Kindle
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    • eBooks
    • Google Play
    • Kobo

Awards and Recognition

  • Australian Book Industry Awards
    2015
    Shortlisted
    Australian Book Industry Awards - General Non-fiction Book of the Year
  • Queensland Literary Awards
    2015
    Shortlisted
    University of Queensland Non-Fiction Book Award
  • Russell Prize for Humour Writing
    2015
    Shortlisted
    Russell Prize for Humour Writing
  • The John Button Prize
    2015
    Shortlisted
    The John Button Prize