Portrait of a Lady is the second of a projected three-part memoir telling the story, familiar to millions of American women, of a woman raised to be someone’s wife, then adjusting to a world where marriage is optional. In the process, she lives in Spain, Israel, Italy, and Greece.

Daring to Date Again, her first book, tells what happened when, after two divorces and twelve years of celibacy, Ann begins to date again. The international travel in this book is only to Zimbabwe, but the inner travel is both cosmic and comic. It won a Silver Medal at the Independent Publishers Book Awards (2016), was a finalist at the NextGeneration Indie Publishers Awards (2016), and a Finalist at the International Book Awards (2016)

Ann Anderson Evans

Daring to Date Again

Again When a sixty-year-old, twice-divorced woman starts to date again, she’s not pinning her hopes on an invitation to the prom. She is financially stable and professionally credentialed. She is a matriarch, a pillar of her church, a member of a choir. She has children and neighbors who might disapprove. She has a lot at stake.

For me, marriage had lost its sheen after two divorces. My needs had been whittled down to conversation and sex. I could get conversation from my friends or colleagues; finding sex was a riskier matter. The term “friends with benefits” sounded juvenile. “Having an affair” sounded illicit. “Getting married” sounded terrifying. “Romp in the hay was more like it.

The Portrait of a Lady

What was driving me away? In America, speaking French was considered a great achievement, while educated Europeans are assumed to speak at least two languages. I didn’t want to bask in the admiration of others; I just wanted to speak French. In America, whole blocks of thinking, Communism for example, were banned.

During a summer in Italy, Communists had sat at the dinner table, in America they sat in jail. I had no affinity for Communism, but wondered where my mind would go once it was allowed to think freely.

The Portrait of a Lady

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