Stag’s Leap: Poems
by Sharon Olds
A tough read for some, even after years of being divorced; a sigh of relief for many; and, of course, very possibly somewhere in between pain and relief, for others, too. Olds tells the story of her breakup in all its rawness and honesty and won a Pulitzer Prize for excavating the painful time in her life when her husband decided to leave her. The Boston Globe writes, “Stag’s Leap” moves through the stages of post-divorce life — the reconciling with fact, the slow acceptance of parting, the indulgence in erotic remembrance, the freedom in forgetting. And while her imagery is no softer (nor more subtle) than before — the air is tinged with decomposed mice, overgrown garlic, and wasted food from a failed dinner party — the emotional acumen in her lines is still steak-knife sharp.”

Excerpt from “The Shore”
Delicious. I hope he can come to think
of me like that. The weeks before he left,
I’d lie on him, as if not heavy,
for a minute, after the last ferocious
ends of the world, as if loneliness had come
overland to its foreshore, breaker,
shelf, trench, and then had fallen down to where
it seemed it could not be recovered from. Elements,
protect him, and those we love, whether we both
love them or not. Physics, author of our
death, stand by us.


Falling Apart in One Piece: a Memoir
by Stacy Morrison 
Morrison’s husband decided to leave her and their small child after ten years of marriage.  She decided to write the book “to show the ordinary and ugly truth” of divorce followed by “the ordinary and beautiful work of stepping away from the ugly and falling back in love with life.”  And that is what she does.  The former magazine editor’s writing is fluent as it is compassionate about challenges and heartbreak.  Her words aren’t angry or bitter but full of love and gratitude for life even while facing the harried realities: a young kid, a full-time job, two nannies, a leaky house.  The author decides that, “What I wanted on the other side of all this pain…. was peace…. To dare to imagine who I might be on the other side of all this. To hold my best idea of myself in my mind’s eye and walk toward her, instead of being distracted by the anger and hurt that threatened to take root in my soul and scar it forever….Five years later, I can honestly say that my divorce is the best thing that ever happened to me. Because I am at peace, and not just with my divorce.  With myself. Who but an optimist would propose that this is what divorce has to offer?”