This Day: Diaries from American Women


This Day: Diaries from American Women Ed. Joni B. Cole, Rebecca Joffrey, and B.K. Rakhra

“What is a day in the life really like for a CEO, a single mom, a TV celebrity, an inmate?” This was the question that inspired This Day, a book project that invited a cross-section of women to create a “day diary” on a single, ordinary Tuesday. The result is an intimate, informative, often humorous window into the life of the American woman, transporting readers into corporate board rooms, concert halls, play groups, TV studios, prisons, soup kitchens, classrooms, and an amazing array of households across the country. Individually and collectively, these diaries reveal what women love – and don’t love! – about their families, jobs, and lives. They illuminate common threads, from the macro (too-hectic lifestyles) to the micro (the irresistible craving for chocolates). This book has entries culled from 500 women, including Kim Gandy, president of NOW; Erika Harold, Miss American 2003; Judi Ehrlich, an L.A. private eye; and Janet Olson, an inmate in Minnesota. It is a vibrant collection that celebrates the diversity of women in America and their lives.


Yes, it also includes the diary of a short Afghan American girl in Brooklyn!  This was such a fun project.  It was the first project that wasn’t hyphenated, just plain American diaries!  The date was October 15 and we all wrote hour by hour what we did for that day.  Truly a remarkable collection of women. My day began with grading papers and ended with eating macaroni & cheese. It was the thoughts in between that got me into this collection.


“Part itinerary, part journal,” the selections in this anthology of diary entries written by women across America reveal women’s “lives from the inside out-showing not only how they spent their time, but what was in their heads and hearts as they went through those twenty-four hours.” The editors received contributions from 529 women, including famous ones, like “Satellite Sister” Lian Dolan (who has a nationally syndicated radio show with her four sisters); spiritual teacher Sharon Salzberg; and WNBA forward Rebecca Lobo; and not-so-famous ones, including Therese Ojibway, a program coordinator for autistic children; and “executive mom” Marisa Thalberg. A brief introduction gives a thumbnail biography each woman, which is followed by a series of entries, with time references, from one day in her life. The vignettes range from the mundane to the extraordinary, and make for an inspiring volume on how women from all walks of life think and feel. — Publishers Weekly

“Intensely entertaining — I highly recommend this book.”– Ben Pappas, Us Weekly magazine.

“Filled with funny, fresh, vital voices. So much fun to read! I saw a little of myself on every page, in every woman’s story.”– Lian Dolan, co-host, Satellite Sisters; columnist, O, The Oprah Magazine

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