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"Highbrow, brilliant." --The Approval Matrix, New York magazine
One of Cosmopolitan's 12 Books You'll Be Dying to Read This Summer
A Publishers Weekly Best Book of Summer 2020
A Vulture Best Book of Summer 2020
One of Refinery29's 25 Books You'll Want to Read This Summer
An Esquire Must-Read Book of Summer 2020
A Book Riot Best Book of 2020 *so far
The female cofounders of a wellness start-up struggle to find balance between being good people and doing good business, while trying to stay BFFs.
Maren Gelb is on a company-imposed digital detox. She tweeted something terrible about the President's daughter, and as the COO of Richual, “the most inclusive online community platform for women to cultivate the practice of self-care and change the world by changing ourselves,” it's a PR nightmare. Not only is CEO Devin Avery counting on Maren to be fully present for their next round of funding, but indispensable employee Khadijah Walker has been keeping a secret that will reveal just how feminist Richual’s values actually are, and former Bachelorette contestant and Richual board member Evan Wiley is about to be embroiled in a sexual misconduct scandal that could destroy the company forever.
Have you ever scrolled through Instagram and seen countless influencers who seem like experts at caring for themselves—from their yoga crop tops to their well-lit clean meals to their serumed skin and erudite-but-color-coded reading stack? Self Care delves into the lives and psyches of people working in the wellness industry and exposes the world behind the filter.
"Though the turmoil at the center of [the novel] is entertaining, its twist ending a clawed swipe at the irony of the scarcity myth--the zero-sum foundation of capitalism--it's not the thing that kept me reading. Instead, it was Stein's deft navitagion of the shades of superficial feminism, the lexicon of start-up culture and the tone of a generation reckoning with how to be honest with itself."
—Los Angeles Times
“Leigh Stein's latest novel is as decadent and brutal as a vampire facial. It's an exposé of feel-good feminism, an indictment of contemporary capitalism, and an absolute treat to read. This book will make you laugh, gasp, and vow to get off social media for good – and it'll understand when you can't help but log right back on.”
—Julia Phillips, National Book Award finalist for Disappearing Earth
"A darkly witty romp through corporate feminism."
"Leigh Stein's novel might just be the hit of adrenaline you need to delete your apps permanently--or at the very least, leap off your couch and do something better with your time."
—San Francisco Chronicle
"Self Care proves Leigh Stein's status as a great 'demolition expert' (Kenneth Tynan's term for Bernard Shaw) of the influencer era."
—The New Republic
Leigh Stein is the author of the acclaimed 2012 novel The Fallback Plan, a poetry collection the same year, and the 2016 memoir Land of Enchantment. From 2014–2017, she ran a secret Facebook group of 40,000 women writers, in her role as cofounder and executive director of Out of the Binders/BinderCon, a feminist nonprofit organization. She’s been called a “leading feminist” by the Washington Post and “poet laureate of The Bachelor” by The Cut.
Jess Barron @jessbeegood left Emerson College’s MFA Creative Writing program to hone her career at the intersection of digital media, technology, and women’s wellness. She is the CEO and co-founder of EpicVacay (@myepicvacay), a transformational retreat company. Her writing has appeared on Wired, Yahoo!, Entrepreneur Magazine, Fortune, and LIVESTRONG.COM, and she’s been a speaker at SXSW, BinderCon, and Create and Cultivate. Her nonfiction essay "The Money Tree" is forthcoming in the "(Her)oics Anthology: American Women's Experiences During the Coronavirus Pandemic" in March 2021 on Pact Press/Regal House. She lives in San Francisco with her husband and two elderly doggos.