Up For Renewal

Up For Renewal

What Magazines Taught Me About Love, Sex, and Starting Over

Now in paperback, the memoir of a woman who tackles the mess she’s made of her life by turning it over to a stack of women’s glossies.

Cathy Alter’s Up for Renewal has captured the public’s imagination, from Cathy’s appearances on the Today show and her numerous write-ups in publications such as The New York Observer, The Atlantic, and Allure. Now in paperback, Up for Renewal is just right for beach-readers eager to hear the laugh-out-loud story of how one woman turned her life around by following the simple wisdom found in women’s magazines. By age thirty-seven, with a failed marriage under her belt, Alter was continuing down the path of poor decisions, one paved with a steady stream of junk food, unpaid bills, questionable friends, and highly inappropriate men. So she dedicated her life to the women’s magazines for the next year, resolving to follow their advice without question. By the end of her subscriptions, she would get rid of upper-arm jiggle, crawl out of debt, host the perfect dinner party, run a mile without puking, engage in better bathtub booty, ask for a raise, and overhaul her apartment. At least that was the premise of her social experiment. What actually happened was much less about cosmetic change and much more about internal transformation. Singular in its voice and yet completely universal, Up for Renewal appeals to all who have ever wondered if they could actually make their life over.
Choose a format:
  • Washington Square Press | 
  • 336 pages | 
  • ISBN 9780743288415 | 
  • July 2009
List Price $15.00
This title is temporarily out of stock, please check back soon.


Shop Around with Cathy Alter

Cathy Alter, author of "Up for Renewal," set out to transform her life by following the advice in women's magazines.

Videos related to this book

About the Author

Cathy Alter
Photo Credit: Marissa Rauch

Cathy Alter

Cathy Alter is a Washington, D.C.-based writer whose articles and essays have appeared in The Washington Post, Washingtonian, Self, Fitness, and McSweeney's. Her first book, Virgin Territory: Stories from the Road to Womanhood, was released in 2004.


Author Revealed

Q. how did you come to write Up For Renewal?

A. My life was a total mess. I was dating a string of narcissistic jerks, eating my lunch out of the vending machine at my office, partying like I was back in freshman year of college, and generally screwing up anything that was actually good in my life (which wasn't a  heck of a lot.) I knew I needed to get my act together, but didn't know how. One day, I found myself in a bookstore, in front of a wall of women's magazines and, after being bombarded with coverlines like, "How to turn the clock back 15 years!" "How to bring men to their knees!" "How to pull off plaid without the bagpipes!" I had my eureka moment: I was going to turn my life over to women's magazines and follow their advice, without question, for the next year.

Read More



Get a FREE eBook
when you join our mailing list!