WESTPORT — A voice for a generation of women stopped at the Westport Library on Monday to talk dating, aging and balancing a career.
Candace Bushnell is famously known for her book “Sex and The City,” which would become the basis for the popular TV series that ran from 1998 to 2004. Bushnell visited the library as part of a book tour for her new collection of essays, “Is There Still Sex in the City?”
The sold-out event saw Westport blogger Jennifer Blankfein speak with Bushnell for over an hour about growing older, work and relationships. Bushnell, 60, said over the last decade of her life she faced challenges that sparked reflection and growth.
“A lot of stuff happened to me at the beginning of my 50s,” she said, adding she never expected to be starting over after divorce.
For Bushnell, female friendship was key during this period and allowed her to persevere.
“A lot of my girlfriends and I were in the same situation and we had to look out for each other,” she said. “These friendships are really, really important for getting through the world and re-finding your feet.”
Though she is now in a new relationship, Bushnell noted her writing career comes before dating.
“Relationships come and go and that is the reality,” she said. “When they go you still have to have something for yourself. I’m a big believer of trying to be a whole person.”
Bushnell observed that today’s generation of women faces challenges and societal pressures many in the past did not.
“Society colludes to tell men they’re a little better than they really are, and it colludes to tell women they’re a little worse,” Bushnell read from her book.
These pressures have caused her to deal with self-negativity and she ageism in recent years, she said, but through friendhips and writing, she was able to overcome.
Similarly, her early work “Sex and the City” tackled these issues head-on, representing the time in women’s life after college before settling down with a family.
“What’s interesting about it to me was the idea of ‘Sex and the City’ and there being this time period before settling down translated to so many countries,” Bushnell said, adding that women over the world thanked her for capturing a new generation of women.
Now, after years of reflection, Bushnell admitted growing older has afforded her freedom she never had and made her more driven to pursue her passions.
“At this point in our life, go big or go home,” Bushnell said. “Go big or go to the grave. That’s my feeling.”