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  • Brazen

Self-Contained: Scenes from a single life

Emma John

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Memoirs

Everything I Know About Love for the over 40s.

There is a piece of cod-wisdom regularly dispensed to single women: romance will arrive when you least expect it. I had assumed it would also make its own travel arrangements too.

Emma John is in her 40s; she is neither married, nor partnered, with child or planning to be.

In her hilarious and unflinching memoir, Self Contained, she asks why the world only views a woman as complete when she is no longer a single figure and addresses what it means to be alone when everyone else isn't.

In her book, she captures what it is to be single in your forties, from sharing a twin room with someone you've never met on a group holiday (because the couples have all the doubles with ensuite) to coming to the realisation that maybe your singleness isn't a temporary arrangement, that maybe you aren't pre-married at all, and in fact you are self-contained.

The book is an exploration of being lifelong single and what happens if you don't meet the right person, don't settle down with the wrong person and realise the biggest commitment is to yourself.

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Emma John

Emma John is a writer and editor on the GUARDIAN and the OBSERVER. She is a former deputy editor of OBSERVER SPORT MONTHLY and THE WISDEN CRICKETER and in 2008 she was the first woman to win a Sports Journalism Award. She is also a classical violinist and bluegrass fiddler.

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