When Work Doesn't Work Anymore
Women, Work, and Identity
By Elizabeth Perle Mckenna
(Delta, Paperback, 9780385317986, 304pp.)
Publication Date: August 10, 1998
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In this groundbreaking book, Elizabeth Perle McKenna challenges the outdated system of work for professional women, and encourages readers to re-examine work as their sole identities, and, if they are unhappy, to allow room for their Lives. For every worn-out, emotionally depleted female professional who has ever sighed, "there has got to be a better way," here is the revolutionary book by Elizabeth Perle McKenna--herself a former publishing executive--that explores women's relationship with work. For decades, women have succeeded at traditional male jobs, but now, deep in the second stage of the feminist movement, they want lives that are integrated and whole. Based on original research and containing hundreds of interviews with prominent working women, this book exposes the inherent conflict between the way work traditionally is structured and rewarded, and what women desire and value in their lives. More important, it suggests new ways for women to identify their values, reclaim their identities, and define success on their own terms. Most importantly, this is not just another book about working mothers. Liz Perle McKenna deconstructs the myth that women can have it all, and shows that they risk true happiness until they give up that impossible ideal. The author's focus extends to every working woman who will most likely face a life-altering situation at some point in her career and will need to redefine what success means to her. Any woman who has been working for more than a few years will identify strongly with the issues raised here, and will be rewarded by the insights she gleans from this vital book.
Elizabeth Perle McKenna is a graduate of Yale University. She worked in the publishing profession for eighteen years, holding publisher positions at Prentice-Hall, Addison-Wesley, William Morrow/Avon Books. She lives in New York City with her husband and son.
"McKenna's book will likely become influential ...Frequently quoting from her talks with Gloria Steinem, Anna Quindlen and Letty Cottin Pogrebin, McKenna ...joins their prominence as a voice worth listening to."
--Publishers Weekly (starred review)