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The Unmade Bed

The Messy Truth about Men and Women in the Twenty-first Century

About the Book

In response to books such as Unfinished Business, provocative cultural commentator Stephen Marche examines the state of male-female relations in the 21st century, with the help of his wife, Toronto Life editor in chief Sarah Fulford.

One warm spring morning in Brooklyn, Stephen Marche, then new father and tenured track professor, got the call: his wife had been offered her dream job … in Toronto. Their mutual decision to abandon his career for hers and return home to Canada threw new light on the gender roles in their marriage and in the world they saw around them. As Marche provocatively argues, in the West we are no longer engaged in a war of the sexes, but rather stuck together in a labyrinth of contradictions. And these contradictions are keeping women from power and confounding male identity.

The Unmade Bed is a deeply researched, personal essay on the aspects of everyday life where men and women meet. It’s Marche’s claim that the way we talk about men and women today is antiquated and that the failure to catch up to the new reality means we are not actually facing the real issues – that true power remains shockingly elusive for women while the idea of masculinity, trapped between iconographies of power and powerlessness, struggles in a state of uncertainty, to the point where manliness and crudity are almost synonymous. The only way out of these mutual struggles is together. 

With footnote commentary from Sarah Fulford, Marche’s wife and Toronto Life editor in chief, Marche’s message is thought-provoking and ultimately hopeful.

Educator and Librarian Resources

Critical Praise

The Unmade Bed is a rollicking read and a very frank look at issues at an important set of issues from the male perspective.” —Anne-Marie Slaughter, President and CEO New America

“There is much pleasure found between the covers of this particular messy bed.” —<em>The Globe and Mail</em>

The Unmade Bed is poignant, thought-provoking and a necessary addition to a cultural moment where the Western world is grappling with the biggest shift in gender relations in human history.” —<em>National Post</em>

“What Marche argues in The Unmade Bed makes great sense, and he is nothing if not a fluent stylist.” —<em>Winnipeg Free Press</em>

“The definitions of masculinity and manliness are changing, and Marche’s commentaries will help readers understand how. Satisfying food for thought on the ever-changing dynamics of men and women as they interact and go about their individual lives.” —<em>Kirkus Reviews</em>

“The book feels almost like a type of cerebral entry an educated writer, father, or husband might make to himself in his journal: a private fact-finding mission to meditate on the rules of today and better survive the culture of tomorrow. Thankfully, Marche made this particular journal entry public.” —<em>Booklist</em>

“Stephen Marche is a very brave man: in The Unmade Bed he makes the case that relations between men and women have never been better. Because he is also a very brilliant writer, he pulls it off. A thrilling read, no less because his wife has provided footnotes.” —Ian Brown, author of <em>Sixty</em>

Product Details

  • ISBN: 9781443434836
  • ISBN 10: 1443434833
  • Imprint: HarperCollins Publishers
  • On Sale: 03/07/2017
  • Pages: 256
  • List Price: 32.99 CAD

The Unmade Bed by Stephen Marche

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