I’m Mostly Here to Enjoy Myself

Marisa Wright at The Millions: In Glynnis MacNicol’s second memoir, I’m Mostly Here to Enjoy Myself, pleasure is political. The narrative follows the weeks MacNicol spent in Paris in late summer 2021 giving herself over to the enjoyment and excesses of sex, food, art, and friendship. In her first memoir, No One Tells You This, MacNicol grapples with turning 40 as an unmarried and childfree woman. This time, she emphatically embraces that identity while subverting the well-worn self-discovery narratives that pervade memoirs authored by women. What instead follows is an exploration of the sublime told through an inventive structure, a reminder of the possibilities for women’s lives beyond just those passed down to us, and an important addition to the archive of women’s liberation.

I talked with MacNicol about women’s pleasure, the importance of community, and the book’s unconventional narrative structure.

Marisa Wright: Near the beginning of the book, you ask, “What does enjoyment mean? Not just temporary enjoyment, like a massage. But as a thesis. How does one give themselves over to pleasure? How does a woman do so?” How would you answer those questions now?

Glynnis MacNicol: It comes down to time and rest. That sounds so simple, but the ability to rest without having to justify it or feel ashamed about it or keep it a secret is very new for women outside of very extreme wealth. Leisure, agency over one’s body, agency over one’s time—which I think encompasses decisions not to partner and not to parent—all ties into it. Enjoyment as a thesis is really determining how you spend your time. It’s the luxury of having a Saturday morning to yourself or being able to determine your schedule. All of that has been inaccessible to most women for most of history.

More here.

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