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The Other Woman: Twenty-one Wives, Lovers, and Others Talk Openly About Sex, Deception, Love, and Betrayal Hardcover – June 13, 2007
From Publishers Weekly
The Other Woman may be a topic of eternally prurient interest, but the main attraction of this strong collection of 21 personal essays is the top-drawer writers such as Diana Abu-Jaber, Laurie Stone and Susan Cheever. Narrated from the point of view of the marriage wrecker or that of the wife who suffers the anguish of triangulation in a trusting relationship, these tales drip with the bitterness of experience. In "Palm Springs," Mary Jo Eustace records the shattering moment when she was stranded on vacation with her small children, and her husband revealed he had fallen in love with his movie co-star. Jane Smiley's terrifically funny "Iowa Was Never Like This" describes the incorrigible but enchanting litany of love's fickle nature. Dani Shapiro's "The Mistress" recreates her several years' affair with the much older stepfather of her college friend—and the lies she finally uncovered by hiring a detective. And in her plainspoken "The Uterine Blues," Connie May Fowler wonders when women are going to smarten up and stop sabotaging one another by sleeping with each other's husbands. The anthology features tales from women of all ages, lesbians and women who have been abused physically: it is a candid and truly fascinating look at how men and women love and hurt. (June)
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About the Author
VICTORIA ZACKHEIM teaches Creative Writing in the UCLA Writer's Program and is the author of the novel THE BONE WEAVER. She lives in San Francisco, California.
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This was a different concept and premise of a book and I really enjoyed it. Usually books and stories deal with the person discovering they have been cheated on, but this takes on a whole new perspective. I really enjoyed this book, and I would read it again.
Let me state emphatically that this was NOT the book I was seeking, nor do I think most people would benefit from it. The book is a collection of short essays by women about affairs they had. Most are about being a married man's other woman but some were lesbian other women. It reads more like a catharsis or confession and the quality of the writing varies substantially. Some give the impression they were written by heart broken teenagers and others are more eloquent but they do little to improve the book due to their brevity. The format of the book is a large part of the reason it is not a good buy. In order to gain understanding of any relationship, one needs greater depth and a more analytical approach. After reading even part of the book one quickly notices a theme of tears and tense nerves as the single connecting topic in the essays. Since the book is a collection of narratives compiled by one author it lacks the cohesiveness to tie these unconnected individuals together and it would have been far more useful if it offered some assessment and summations by the author. The 'broad, shallow approach' offered in this style of book is not nearly as valuable as an in depth study of one 'love triangle' because human relationships, particularly those with intense sexual desires, are just too involved to be summarized in a few pages. Most readers would leave this book with the feeling they were offered a few small scraps of experience rather than a well crafted and vicarious look into a lifestyle that may tempt some but almost always does not end up the way that most of its participants, most notably the female participants, would consider a happy outcome. I suggest avoiding this book as it raises more questions than it answers. Also, many other women do not have someone they can confide in and know that their secrets will stay theirs. If this was to be the book that a woman went to thinking that it would advise and guide her, she would be left unsatisfied at best. I really cannot say who would benefit from this book other than someone who just likes to sample others peccadilloes because there is little in the way of 'relationship advice' or moral clarity.
It's right up there with Nora Ephron's description of her D-Day that lead her to write Heartburn.
Mostly unmarried middle aged wealthy artists and their unmarried boyfriends, lesbians, even an abused child. Interesting stuff, just not what I was expecting.