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The Other Woman: Twenty-one Wives, Lovers, and Others Talk Openly About Sex, Deception, Love, and Betrayal Paperback – August 13, 2008

3.9 out of 5 stars 29 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

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)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Victoria Zackheim teaches Creative Writing in the UCLA Writer's Program. She also contributes book reviews to the San Francisco Chronicle; records commentaries for The Mimi Geerges Show, a book-related program on XM satellite radio; and is working on her second play. She is the author of the novel THE BONE WEAVER.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing; Reprint edition (August 13, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446698822
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446698825
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.9 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,524,355 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
At last we're pulling back the bedsheets on this topic. The essay by Dani Shapiro was devastating and the diatribe against mistresses by Connie May Fowler was a wake-up call. How many women have not been on one side of the equation? Or all of them? And this collection opens up the idea of what it means to be the Other Woman - it looks at a daughter's viewpoint, a sister-in-law's, etc. It shows how wide-reaching the aftermaths of adultery are. I've been on all sides. None of them are good. We need to dialogue on the causes or open up the questions of monogamy, marriage, and faithfulness. Well worth reading.
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Format: Hardcover
I really wasn't sure if I was going to like this book. I was a wife that had "the other woman" in my life (though I didn't know it at the time) so I was curious to see how other people got through it and was also curious to hear things from the persepctive of The Other Woman. I've got to say that some of the women betrayed really mirrored my experience...the shock, "out of body" feelings, etc. But, I also felt some compassion for The Other Woman. Everyone likes to feel unique and to be special and I can understand getting swept up with that, even if it's with another woman's husband.

Overall, I really enjoyed reading this. I think the short essays work very well for this type of book. You could read one and then put the book down for awhile to ponder it. I felt a sisterhood with all the women who told their stories...ultimately we are just looking to love and to be loved...but some of us go about it the wrong way or with the wrong person.
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Format: Paperback
I enjoyed these revealing autobiographical confessions. Twenty one women writers (including Pam Houston and Diana Abu-Jaber) write on a single theme, in this case adultery. In most of the essays, the authors reflect on love triangles they were once a part of. Sometimes they were the other woman; sometimes they were being cheated on and had to contend with another woman. Some write about non-conventional paradigms and a few essays are about same-sex relationships.

In all but a few, I was riveted. They have the same appeal as looking into someone's diary or overhearing a heart-to-heart confessional between friends. There were times when I wanted to smack the authors. (Gayle Brandeis's self-congratulatory conclusions in 'Ruby' seem particularly short-sighted.) Other times I was impressed with the women's honesty. Often I was surprised at the outcome of the triangles.

I would recommend skipping around and reading the pieces out of order. I wasn't a particular fan of Pam Houston's opener, "Istanbul." I like her writing normally, but the second person tense and ambiguous style drove me a bit nuts. Much better is Susan Cheever's "In Praise of Married Men" and others that confess all. It is an act of bravery to reveal your worst impulses and inner thoughts. I respect these authors for their honesty.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a perfect read for when you're too busy to sit down and get into an entire story. I also recommend that you prefer some "spice" in your reading. The stories are short, yet so satisfying. All of these authors were cleverly picked and I would love to see Volume 2. Lesbian, straight, cheater, cheatee, it's all here. Bravo V. Zackheim, do it again please!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was looking for some truth and honesty. So according to the book title and reviews this book would offer that. WRONG this book is a series of short stories written by other award winning authors. To say this is the truth would be like watching romance movies and say that how relationships are. Some good books with women confessions and theres strangely too few books avalable on such a subject is Undressing Infidelity and kindle book To Love Honor Betray Secret lives of suburban wives. A great show of real life and love is the britain TV show How TV ruined your Life. With the episode about love.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Okay, if you're borderline with your current relationship, you may not want to read this. I did cause a few "wrinkles" with my fiancee and me but that's not to say this isn't a great book. Some stories are better than others, and personally I would have rather skipped the Lesbian bits but on a whole it was a good read that's hard to put down. I continually question the likelyhood of being married or in a long term relationship and never having to face a situation of betrayal (from either party), and this doesn't really "help" in that respect - but it's still a hot, juicy read and I'm glad I took the journey with these wonderful women and writers.
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Format: Hardcover
Amazingly, these twenty-one accomplished writers are willing to reveal very intimate and hurtful aspects of their lives. If there is a theme to the stories, it is that infidelity invariably blindsides and causes great pain and turmoil in the lives of even highly intelligent women. Most of these accounts were written well after the actual events. The approaches are mostly about personal impact, not particularly philosophical or psychological, but even then one wonders whether the true anguish is really captured. One is left with a feeling that monogamy, attraction, sex, etc are subjects scarcely understood, but certainly create emotional highs and lows for most of us.
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