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He's History, You're Not: Surviving Divorce After 40 Paperback – May 5, 2009

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Editorial Reviews


Divorce is the loss of a relationship and the death of dreams. It is also a beginning with new hope and possibility. Reading He’s History, You’re Not is like having a friend on your side to help you let go of the past, get through the turmoil, and turn to a better future.” ―Abigail Trafford, author of Crazy Time and As Time Goes By: Boomerang Marriages, Serial Spouses, Throwback Couples, and Other Romantic Adventures in an Age Of Longevity

“Erica Manfred wants to be your best girlfriend, the one who stands by your side every step of the way through the tsunami of divorce. And, with this book, she succeeds. But not only is she a best girlfriend, she’s a smart girlfriend offering great advice on emotional, legal, financial, and spiritual matters, thoroughly researched and referenced for those who want to dig deeper―and for later, when it’s time to move on, she offers advice on Internet dating as well. Best of all, Manfred herself has walked every inch of the divorce plank and with disarming honesty lets us see her own successes and failures on the road back to sanity. A must read for anyone contemplating a divorce or going through one.” ―Susan Richards, author of Chosen by a Horse and Chosen Forever

“Erica Manfred’s He’s History You’re Not is for every woman who suffers the anguish of a ruptured relationship. Having survived and surmounted the pain of her own divorce, Manfred is every reader’s ‘wise friend,’ sharing her own story and the fund of knowledge she accrued along the way so the rest of us need never feel ‘alone’ or believe we can’t survive. For we can; and we do, as Manfred teaches us, inevitably emerge the stronger for it.” ―Florence Falk, Ph.D., psychotherapist, and author of On My Own: The Art of Being a Woman Alone

“Erica Manfred’s book is exactly what it sets out to be: the warm, witty, gritty, kind, and very knowing friend who’s forged ahead, through a forbidding place, and blazed the trail before you. It’s packed with information, beautifully organized, and full of funny, poignant, and inspiring stories. It is, in the truest sense, a companion volume, the book you’ll want to keep beside you as you forge your own new life.” ―Noelle (Fintushel) Oxenhandler, author of The Wishing Year: A House, A Man, My Soul and coauthor of A Grief Out of Season: When Your Parents Divorce in Your Adult Years

“This is one of the few divorce books that addresses the fact that divorce has a different meaning at every age. Manfred is so candid about her own divorce as ‘a woman of a certain age’ that readers are sure to feel they’ve found a wise friend to see them through the trauma of divorce and help them discover their postdivorce selves. I wish I’d had this book when I went through my divorce.” ―Theo Pauline Nestor, author of How to Sleep Alone in a King-Size Bed: A Memoir of Starting Over

“Erica Manfred turned a bad situation into great lessons for other women going through midlife divorce. Her honesty and her ability to find the humor in her experiences make this book a fun yet constructive read." ―Daylle Deanna Schwartz, author of Nice Girls Can Finish First

He’s History, You’re Not is like sitting down with an older sister who has already gone through a divorce and can guide you around the pitfalls. Manfred offers a unique, and desperately needed, take on divorce for mature women. Her advice is money-smart, wise, and on target. A straight talking, clear-eyed, and savvy guide, this is required reading for the over-forty divorcee.” ―Brette Sember, J.D., author of The Complete Divorce Handbook and The Divorce Organizer & Planner

“Divorce is different for women in their forties, fifties, and sixties, and Erica Manfred addresses those special concerns head-on, from grieving to finances to dating and sex. Manfred spills her guts, disclosing even embarrassing experiences with emotional nakedness. Her tips are invaluable, and her candor will make you feel she’s your best friend sharing her mistakes so you don’t have to make them. Through it all, she even manages to be laugh-out-loud funny!” ―Joan Price, author of Better Than I Ever Expected: Straight Talk About Sex After Sixty

He’s History, You’re Not needed to be written at least a decade ago (or, at least, before my own divorce happened). It’s a fun (!), fresh, and practical approach to surviving the big break-up―a must read for anyone over forty, at any stage of the divorce process, whether about to be divorced, just divorced, long divorced, or even just thinking about divorce (wives of certain prominent politicians, take note). Manfred’s first-hand tale is compelling not only for its details, but also for the very specific and practical advice she hands out. As an attorney of more than twenty-five years, I will be handing out copies of Manfred’s book along with a pack of tissues to all of my female divorce clients. And, maybe to the male clients, too, since many of the tips would work for either gender.” ―Susan Ellis Wild, coauthor of The Unofficial Guide to Divorce

From the Back Cover

A savvy, girlfriend-to-girlfriend guide to what to do after your marriage ends

Surviving the first―worst―year

You and your divorce lawyer
Living alone and liking it

Dating again
Forgiving the bastard and moving on

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Globe Pequot Press; First Edition edition (May 5, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0762751355
  • ISBN-13: 978-0762751358
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 5.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (74 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #231,049 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I'm a freelance writer whose mother used to introduce her as "This is my daughter Erica, the expert in practically everything." I guess that's how I wound up writing about subjects as diverse as divorce and Jewish vampires (not to speak of dentistry, fat fashions and psychics)

He's History You're Not was a case of making lemonade out of lemons. I turned a really nasty divorce into a book that would help other older women who had gone through divorces--nasty or not. My motto: Writing well is the best revenge.

Interview With a Jewish Vampire was originally meant to be a humor piece but an agent suggested I turn it into a book. I intially said, "Oh no, that's impossible." I couldn't think of a way to write a whole book about a Jewish vampire. But I was egged on by my writer's critique group, who loved the idea and waited breathlessly to hear the latest installment of the adventures of Rhoda and Sheldon every week. I plan a series about them. The next installment will be: "True Kosher Blood," about Rhoda and Sheldon moving to the Catskills.

Brought up by Jewish parents who spoke Yiddish but avoided religion, I got my Jewish education at the Woodstock Jewish Congregation which welcomes Jews from all backgrounds, from atheist to Orthodox. I hope they'll let me rejoin next year after reading Interview With a Jewish Vampire.

My website is

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

187 of 188 people found the following review helpful By Kelly VINE VOICE on March 12, 2010
Format: Paperback
I bought this book with a lot of excitement - I am 40 and recently divorced and was excited to find a book geared towards me.

First, the good things - the book is thorough. It is well written and easy to read. The author is a good writer and the book is entertaining. It includes chapters on many different aspects of divorce that women need to consider. Over all, I think it is very good.

But, I did not find the book relevant to my own situation for several reasons.

1. This book is geared specifically towards women who have older or grown children. If you have young children, this book is not really as relevant to your situation. Since many women delay childbearing these days, there are many women in their 40s who still have young children [me included]. They won't find the help they need in this book. This book just really emphasized to me how very different the two situations are - a mother of older children who is abandoned vs a mother of very young children who is abandoned.

2. The author seemed to have had a TON of support from endless patient, loving, devoted friends. She lists a whole bunch of different kinds of "friends" that you are supposed to have to help you through all the different aspects of the divorce. If you are like me and found most of your friends jumping ship the moment your husband ran off, [not out of malice necessarily, but just because they were uncomfortable or did not feel a kinship with you any longer], then you may find this advice as depressing as I did. I think there are a lot of women out there like me who do not have much support at all in coping with their divorce. Those women aren't going to find the support they need in this book either.

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46 of 47 people found the following review helpful By Bridget Mintz Testa on April 16, 2009
Format: Paperback
Erica Manfred wants her book to be a smart girlfriend for over-40 women going through a divorce, and she's succeeded with "He's History; You're Not." In eleven chapters, Manfred covers everything an older women needs to know about divorce. She talks movingly about that first awful year after a divorce and how to get through it. She also covers couple therapies that work, noting that many "marriage" counselors have no clue--which is what I've found, too. She talks about why older women, in particular, need good divorce lawyers and good financial advice. She delves into loneliness and how to cope with it. For older women who are afraid of winding up as bag ladies, she reassures and provides smart work strategies. She talks about the effect of divorce on children, both those still in the home and those who have their own lives. Tip-Don't expect your adult children to be your sounding boards. Though Manfred doesn't recommend brooding on your marriage, she explains why and how you need to analyze what went wrong. There's a chapter on re-inventing yourself, especially applicable for women who somehow never did what they really wanted when married. She talks about dating for over-40 women, with lots of tips on using the Net and a few Net-free ideas, too. The last two chapters talk about the after-effects of infidelity (his) and why you don't have to forgive your ex-husband if you don't want to. The book ends with a great resource section. If you're a woman over 40 facing divorce, and you've been married most of your adult life, this is definitely the book for you.

Bridget Mintz Testa
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28 of 28 people found the following review helpful By MotherWarrior on May 4, 2009
Format: Paperback
Thank God Erica Manfred wrote this book, echoing and validating what we're really thinking when going through a divorce, especially one prompted by infidelity.

This is the most complete picture I've gotten of what happens. Thank You for these chapters: Grieving is a full-time job; What the hell happened to your marriage; Reinventing yourself; Forgiving the bastard and moving on.

And it's an enjoyable read, even when you're coping with devastation.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Stephanie Golden on May 3, 2009
Format: Paperback
I did my divorcing a long time ago, so I'm not the target audience for this book, but I wish I'd had it then, even though I was way under 40. Erica Manfred's description of "true intimacy" is worth the price of the book all by itself. (It would certainly have helped me see that I shouldn't have married that man. And it helps me see that I am actually managing to build a real intimate relationship with the man I'm with now.)

Manfred's writing combines down-to-earth readability and the ability to tell great stories with solid, specific, detailed information. The tale of her own marriage and recovery is so compelling in itself that you could read it as a novel (while using it to measure your own tendencies to make the same mistakes). She's also talked to plenty of other women, so she presents a wide range of different marriage experiences.

In short, nobody who buys this book will be disappointed.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Augusta Wind on April 28, 2009
Format: Paperback
Erica Manfred's book is funny and chock full of good advice.
What I personally liked was how the reader got Erica's personal story within the larger context of the book. I also appreciated how she had specifics for various age groups- 40s, 50s, 60s. On the whole, this
is a fantastic addition to this field, and I have read a lot of books
in this area. He's History is very comprehensive with lots of good interviews and resources. Erica definitely nailed that chatty
girlfriend tone, so the book feels like a conversation. The main message: She's been there, done that, survived and thrived and
so can you!
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