The Art of Sleeping Alone

The Art of Sleeping Alone

Why One French Woman Suddenly Gave Up Sex

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Sophie Fontanel, bestselling novelist and iconic editor of French Elle, tells the provocative story of her decision to stop having sex—a choice that profoundly changed her view of herself and her place in the world.


At the age of twenty-seven, after many years of having (and, for the most part, enjoying) an active sex life, beloved French author, journalist, editor, and fashion blogger Sophie Fontanel decided she wanted to take a break. Despite having it all—a glamorous job, plenty of dates and boyfriends, stylish clothes, and endless parties to attend—she still wasn’t happy, and found herself wanting more. She chose to give up her sex life, and in so doing shocked all of her friends and colleagues. What she discovers about herself is truly liberating and raises a number of questions about the expectations of the society in which we live. As she experiences being the only non-coupled one at dinner parties, weekend getaways, and summer vacations, she muses inspiringly on what it means to find hap­piness and fulfillment alone.

Provocative and illuminating, The Art of Sleeping Alone, which spent eight weeks on the bestseller list in France, offers advice on love and sex while challenging modern-day conven­tions of marriage and motherhood, making this an ideal read for anyone who has chosen to do things a little differently.
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  • Scribner | 
  • 160 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781451696295 | 
  • August 2013
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With my elbows propped on the safety bar of the lift chair, I was raised up to where I just knew the sky would be blue, with fog slipping away like a skin skimmed from milk. I was looking at fir trees, mountaintops, immaculate planes of solid colors, and I was thinking: I want to find this calm for myself. As for the kind I’d already evaluated from personal experience, meaning the matchless scouring performed by sex, well, that no longer interested me. I’d had it with being taken and rattled around. I’d had it with handing myself over. I’d said yes too much. I hadn’t taken into account the tranquility my body required.... see more

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