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Naked on the Page

“Ganahl, a 49-year-old San Francisco Chronicle columnist, had almost everything a woman could want: financial stability, a flourishing career, an adoring daughter and the kind of sparkling social life even Dorothy Parker would envy. What she didn't have, though, was a boyfriend-and as she looked down the barrel of middle age, when every man she knew was either married, interested only in (much) younger women or otherwise unacceptable, this one-time male-magnet wondered if anyone would ever look at her lustfully again. Ganahl's writing is sassy, fiery (the prose equivalent of her red hair and love of rock and roll), and many readers will nod in amused sympathy as she recounts her disastrous forays into the world of online dating or laments the difficulty of looking sexy in a sensible heel. But the book isn't all self-deprecating humor. Reeling from the one-two punch of her mother's and sister's deaths and struggling to accept her daughter's increasing independence, Ganahl tackles the bigger issues as well. Ganahl may be occasionally, infuriatingly self-defeating, but more often she's pluck and charm personified. Readers, meanwhile, will enjoy Ganahl's romantic portrayal of her beloved San Francisco-a character as alive and fully developed as any in the book.” – Publishers Weekly

The only thing more undignified than being single and almost 50 is writing about it in the newspaper. Jane Ganahl began writing a column about the rigors of single life and the horrors of aging when she was 49 years old. She had no idea what kind of chaos would ensue: countless propositions, hate mail, inspiring sharing by other women in the same situation, family embarrassments, fear among her countless ex’s. The column’s uproar only added to the daily chaos created by Ganahl’s eccentric inner circle – all creative people who attend her monthly dinner salon, and support her endlessly as she likewise takes care of them.

The column’s first year was the most turbulent – and in some ways, the most meaningful – of her life. Challenged to grapple with her own demons – her unmarried status and changing body, her increasing invisibility to men, a dead-end/part-time affair and her daughter’s upcoming departure for grad school – Ganahl hit the issues head-on in her column, baring her soul to the world. But in addition to garnering countless fans, she got something extra: a therapeutic forum to work out her own feelings. By the time she turned 50, she had also turned a corner: she had learned to appreciate the single life and stand on her own two feet.

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