The Rules Do Not Apply

The Rules Do Not Apply

When thirty-eight-year-old New Yorker writer Ariel Levy left for a reporting trip to Mongolia in 2012, she was pregnant, married, financially secure, and successful on her own terms. A month later, none of that was true.

Levy picks you up and hurls you through the story of how she built an unconventional life and then watched it fall apart with astonishing speed. Like much of her generation, she was raised to resist traditional rules--about work, about love, and about womanhood.

"I wanted what we all want: everything. We want a mate who feels like family and a lover who is exotic, surprising. We want to be youthful adventurers and middle-aged mothers. We want intimacy and autonomy, safety and stimulation, reassurance and novelty, coziness and thrills. But we can't have it all."

In this memoir, Levy chronicles the adventure and heartbreak of being "a woman who is free to do whatever she chooses." Her own story of resilience becomes an unforgettable portrait of the shifting forces in our culture, of what has changed--and of what is eternal.

Title:The Rules Do Not Apply
Edition Language:English
ISBN:9780812996937
Format Type:

About Ariel Levy

Ariel Levy is a staff writer at The New Yorker magazine, where she has written about the swimmer Diana Nyad, the Supreme Court plaintiff Edith Windsor, the former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, and the drug ayahuasca. She was the editor of The Best American Essays 2015. Her personal story "Thanksgiving in Mongolia" won a National Magazine Award for Essays and Criticism and is the basis


    The Rules Do Not Apply Reviews

  • Roxane

    Hmm. The writing on a sentence level is exquisite. Levy's vocabulary is just superb. This is an interesting book. Levy demonstrates self awareness and is willing to put herself on the page in uncomfor...

  • Pouting Always

    I'm just going to talk openly about what happens in the memoir because it seems as though it's mostly all out there as is, and so I don't want people yelling at me about spoilers. The literal summary ...

  • Debbie

    Who is this Ariel Levy, anyway? It’s always a risk to read a memoir by someone you’ve never heard of, or who isn’t a blogger with lots of creds. I’ve been burnt before. But this is definitely ...

  • Esil

    I didn’t know anything about Ariel Levy – who is a writer with The New Yorker -- but the description of her memoir sounded interesting. Well, it turns out that I would probably be happy to read an...

  • Diane

    This memoir got a lot of hype, some of which is justified.Ariel Levy has some strong passages in the book, but parts of it felt padded and unfocused. The Rules Do Not Apply is an extension of an artic...

  • Melissa Stacy

    The literary memoir "The Rules Do Not Apply" is all about a privileged white woman who has led a charmed life. The author has been raised to assume she has control over all aspects of her life because...

  • Trish

    Ariel Levy always believed she could be a writer. Her mother told her it was a good idea, a normal thing for a pre-teen to aspire to, something for a teen to aim for. She was in her late teens when sh...

  • Hannah

    To talk about this book, I have to also talk about memoirs and my relationship with them in general. This book challenged me and my ideas of memoirs, especially those written by women. I have talked a...

  • Julia Shaw

    It's tough to rate a grief memoir without feeling like you're making a personal comment about the author or her experiences, so I feel a need to qualify my choice of three stars... I'm very impressed ...

  • Eve

    I rarely sit down with a book only to look up hours later and realize I've consumed it in its entirety. Such was the case with The Rules Do Not Apply! It was recommended on a Podcast, and I knew noth...