Breakup: The End of a Love Story

Overview

I will never forgive you.
I will never make love with you again.
I do not love you anymore.

Breakup is the erotically charged chronicle of the tempestuous final months of an eighteen-year romantic and literary partnership, self-destructing in the aftermath of the ultimate betrayal. Fearlessly and courageously, Texier chronicles the end of that love as it is wrecked by ...

See more details below
Paperback (1 ANCHOR)
$13.17
BN.com price
(Save 12%)$15.00 List Price
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (23) from $1.99   
  • New (7) from $8.94   
  • Used (16) from $1.99   
Sending request ...

Overview

I will never forgive you.
I will never make love with you again.
I do not love you anymore.

Breakup is the erotically charged chronicle of the tempestuous final months of an eighteen-year romantic and literary partnership, self-destructing in the aftermath of the ultimate betrayal. Fearlessly and courageously, Texier chronicles the end of that love as it is wrecked by infidelity and deceit in a literary tour de force reminiscent by turns of Marguerite Duras and Henry Miller.

Texier writes in harrowing detail about the powerful sexual relationship she shared with her husband even during their breakup, how sex between them became a substitute for real intimacy, and how the fabric of a marriage (a shared cup of café au lait on a yellow table every morning, the memories of giving birth to two glorious daughters, of coediting their own literary magazine) is brutally dissolved.

Breakup is unsentimental and unflinching, a journal of love's exquisite torture. Every emotion, including rage, disgust, self-pity, hatred, sympathy, and jealousy, is mined. Heartbreaking, too, is the effect of the breakup on Texier's two children who, sometimes caught in the crossfire of their parents' turmoil, are trapped as the relationship spirals out of control and their once-secure home becomes a battlefield.

Ultimately, Breakup is about the risks one great passion involves. It is a journey of the heart in all its wild beating; a courageous diary of a soul laid bare, and the redemptive power of love.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"I found myself gasping, raging and plummeting right alongside her....Catherine Texier tells a horrifying story here, beautifully and rivetingly."
--Francisco Goldman, author of The Ordinary Seaman

"By turns, disturbing, exhilarating, mesmerizing and always utterly impossible to put down."
--Anne Lamott, author of Bird by Bird and Crooked Little Heart

"The surprise in Texier's recollection of the end is her generosity of spirit, her...attempts to understand and empathize with the man who is betraying her and to even imagine the position of the...other woman. "
--Elizabeth Wurtzel, author of Prozac Nation and Bitch

"Texier's book/diary of betrayal is an open, emotional account of our deepest fears as women, as lovers, and, ultimately, as humans."
--Lucy Grealy, author of Autobiography of a Face

From the Hardcover edition.

Francine Prose
Texier's raw, unsparing cri de coeur charts the fevered emotions —shock, grief, outrage, sexual jealousy —that accompanied her husband's betrayal. —Elle
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Shortly after the author returned from a trip to France, the country of her birth, she discovered that her husband of 18 years and the father of their two daughters wanted to leave her. Texier, a novelist (Love Me Tender) who co-edited with her husband, Joel Rose, Between C and D, a lower Manhattan literary journal, publishes here the diary she kept in 1996, the final year of their marriage. Artfully written and candid in its anguish, her memoir describes the harrowing months when she tried to change Rose's mind by maintaining their sex life, cooking for him and restraining her rage at his betrayal. Although she discovered that he had been having a 15-month-long affair with the woman he wanted to leave her for, Texier continued to hope that the memories of the good years they had shared would be powerful enough to keep them together. It was only after Rose took his lover on a trip to Los Angeles that the author finally told him to leave their home. Men and women alike will respond to Texier's re-creation of her feelings of depression, anger, jealousy and erotic longing that accompanied the dissolution of her marriage. Author tour. (Aug.)
Marion Winik
A testimony to Catherine Texier's emotional insight, courage, and literary skill. New York Newsday
San Diego Tribune
The beauty of her prose and the rawnesx of her voice speak clearly about the complexity of realtionships and the power of love.
Francine Prose
Texier's raw, unsparing cri de coeur charts the fevered emotions -- shock, grief, outrage, sexual jealousy -- that accompanied her husband's betrayal. -- Elle
Fay Weldon
Elegantly, poetically written…if you, too, have known love and loss, you don't keep out of this book. You're in there with them.
The New York Observer
Kirkus Reviews
The diary of a divorce: at times incantatory and overwrought, but always fired by emotion. Texier, French-born novelist (Panic Blood, 1990) and co-founder of the East Village literary magazine Between C & D, has written a slim, elegant book about the discovery of her husband's adultery in the last year of their marriage. In spite of the potential for melodrama and self-pity, Texier maintains a certain cool distance, using the English language almost as an artist would paint. In her hands, it becomes a fluid medium, a means to convey color to the page. And in this instance, that color would have to be blood red: the color of an open wound as well as of love.

Even though the book is laced through with Texier's rage,Breakup functions, paradoxically enough, like a valentine in reverse. In its pages, Texier offers intimate testimony of the passionate, symbiotic love she had with her husband, novelist Joel Rose. During the majority of their 18 years together, the two writers combined efforts on Between C & D, supported one another's careers, renovated their apartment, and raised two daughters.

When Rose fell in love with his editor, Texier couldn't understand why he would willingly sacrifice his family for the thrill of the new, but then, adultery is rarely subject to rationality. It's even surprising that Texier has rationalized her own responses sufficiently to write a book about it, but then, she does occasionally slip into pure lament: 'What did I do to be punished so? What nerve did I touch? How did I do you wrong?' The end result, however, is a work of emotional control and literary exhibitionism. In spite of its formal elegance,Breakup elicits a kind of uneasy sense of voyeruistic complicity—this is, above all, an indelibly intimate view of the demise of a marriage.

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780385495233
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 8/17/1999
  • Edition description: 1 ANCHOR
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 176
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.25 (d)

Meet the Author

Catherine Texier was born and raised in France and now lives in New York City. She is the author of two novels, Love Me Tender and Panic Blood. She was the coeditor, with Joel Rose, of the literary magazine Between C & D. She is the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Award and a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship. Her work has been translated into ten languages.
Read More Show Less

Read an Excerpt

The leaves are changing in the trees in Tompkins Square Park, and on the ivy crawling on the building across my window, green morphing to intense yellow and deep red, a signal that time has passed since I've come back from France, inching toward hard fall and winter. Toward the unknown. A signal that things change and shift all the time. That time does its work.

Your anger: a given, since the morning we woke up together after making love for the first time in Dave's apartment on West 71st Street. We were making the bed and you pulled on the comforter a little too hard, testily, for no reason that I could figure out, anger flaring up in your face for a split second out of the blue, unconnected with what we were doing, which was smoothing the comforter on the bed, but I felt it rippling through me, superimposed on your smile and the touch of your lips on mine, like a shot of vodka in cream sauce. It surprised me. But I didn't mind. It added an ingredient of danger, unpredictability.

And now here is your anger again, blown out of proportion, teetering, vindictive, unleashed. Killing rage. Not only directed at me, but at your film agent who hasn't gotten you the screenplays you were up for--not yet anyway, and maybe never. Toward your parents for being old and sick and goddamned needy. Especially toward your mother for crying all the time. Toward yourself maybe? The anger fading sometimes to a dull ache, to a garden-variety anger. As if some days you were just getting tired, your energy flagging. How long can anger last if isn't fanned, fed? Doesn't a fire burn itself out, eventually, running out of wood? Or can simmering, buried rage be forever rekindled?

Onenight you said to me: by falling apart and crying you are trying to get something.

By "falling apart and crying," I think you specifically refer to that time last Spring when my last novel was turned down the same week you sold your own novel and you found me sobbing at my desk. Or all the other times when I burst into tears when I got a rejection letter. Or my obsessions about everybody's health. Even after Juliet completely recovered from her blood disorder, I was so shook up that for years after that, whenever one of us was sick, I worried that it might be a fatal illness. The spectacle of my vulnerability is odious to you.

You mean, I am being manipulative?

Yes, you said. Manipulative.

It was one of our night talks, 4 AM, lying down in the dark, side by side.

What was I trying to get from you by playing up my weaknesses, my neediness? Maybe I wanted you to tell me you loved me no matter what, you would forgive me, you would not hurt me, you would always be there for me. Maybe I was afraid to threaten you if I showed you how strong I could be. Maybe I was trying to disarm you.

And you, what are you trying to get with your rage? Is it the rage of the warrior, burning everything in his path, like Attila the Hun? Is it the righteous rage, like that of Saint-Just, who, when he finally took power during the French Terror, sent all his former friends who had crossed him to the guillotine? Is it the helpless rage of the child who has developed that fool-proof weapon to keep the world at bay? The rage of the rattlesnake firing off its poison when threatened?

They say Pisces take on the problems of the world, they absorb the energy around them, good or bad, they have trouble with boundaries, they need to protect themselves from other people's unbearable intrusion. Is anger your armor, your hard shell, protecting your vulnerable soul?

How the pain comes back, so fast. How your angry silence unsettles me. How helpless I feel, how lonely. How I thought your love was forever, even if we didn't talk that way. How secure I felt in that love until about a year or two ago, when you started acting as if you wanted to fuck every woman you saw.

You did love me. You did shower me with love. You adored me. You told me I was the woman of your life.

Didn't you?

The house, when your mood pitches black, seems to fall with you, darkening, sucked of life. I have to go around and turn the lights on to bring it back from the dead.



Saturday afternoon, coming back from shopping, Juliet asks me: where's dad? And I say, I don't know, he's never here on week-end afternoons, is he?

Maybe he's having an affair, she says, helping me take the bags out of the car.

I hope not, I say.

She looks at my face and nods.

No, she says. It's not his style.



I don't smell another woman around you. Flings maybe. If you were in love with another woman would you still make love to me like you do?



Me, going into your studio drowned in darkness, as you are finishing your work-out, asking you: what are you doing tonight, and you saying, as I expected: going out to watch the baseball game (it's the sixth game in the World Series). And me, saying: I might be going out with Lola.

I put my arms around your chest, which is softer than it was a year ago, not as buff. You pull your head and neck away from me, not wanting any closeness. And I say, I know, it's hard right now.

You make a little snorting sound of assent, or maybe of disdain, I can't tell. The room is dark. You like to turn the lights on as late as possible, letting yourself go to the night, hiding in it. The sadness of dusk is seeping deep into the house. I know I have gone to you because I don't want you to drift too far away.

The sadness I feel tonight. The blues. Peine d'amour. Lovelorn.

And Juliet who is so angry at me, aggressive, sick of the whole thing, sick of us, taking refuge with her friends, going out every night of every week-end.

The house, deserted, as if it oozed poison.

And me, tonight, unable to give it life. Deserting it, too.

Maybe we'll all leave, abandoning the apartment behind, letting it die. Maybe the four of us will break up. You on one side, Juliet on another. Me and Lola in yet a third place.

Tonight I want to leave. I can't keep the fires of home burning. The cheerfulness, the warmth. I don't have the heart for it. Tonight I want to jump ship too. Pack up and leave.

I am not as afraid as I was. I don't feel I live every day as I did at first with the sword of Damocles over my head. Because the issue has shifted. It's not about you leaving or staying. It's about learning how to depend on my own self. It's about growing up without you.

I've always been very seductive with you, especially the last couple of years, when I started being afraid of losing you. Dressing up for you, showing myself off to you. Turning you on. I'm not sure how to be in the house, around you, now.

Everything between us has loosened up. I have the sensation of floating, of not being firmly anchored, tightly embraced and looked at. As if your gaze had held me together. And the surprise to discover that I can keep going without that loving gaze, that I feel freer without it. Yes, you were holding a mirror up to me, that's what happens in love affairs, in relationships. I was looking for your approval. And now I have to do without.

You don't seem to look for my approval anymore either. You hadn't even told me you were giving portions of your old novel to your editor to read. Apparently she thinks it could make a big, commercial novel and that you should rework it. I'm trying to keep my jealousy in check about her.

It feels as if we've moved into a much bigger house, wide open to the outside world. We don't know how much space or how much distance we need. I can see you testing: how much to tell me, how much not to tell me. How much you will share or not share with me. How often you go out at night. How domestic you will be. How friendly toward me. How angry. How much sex you will allow yourself to have with me.


* * *


You remember, I said, in July last year, you told me I was the woman of your life? In that little bar on ninth street. You told me it was great living with me, that it was so unpredictable, changing all the time, that you never got bored once with me, that the sexuality changed all the time and was just as exciting?

Yes, you said.

And you started going out with her a few weeks later?

Yes. It had to happen, you said. When you start having affairs it's the sign that things are wrong in a relationship.



I thought I should lash out on you, unload my rage and my anger, at the very least throw some books against the wall. Make a scene. Destroy some furniture. But I didn't do anything. I told myself I didn't want to make a racket, I didn't want to wake up the girls. The truth is that I was dead inside. You had dropped a bomb. Right on the old wound: the fear of being abandoned, of not being loved, of being left behind.

You got up and made coffee. I took a shower and got dressed. I was going to teach that morning.

When I came downstairs to the kitchen, I was cold, frozen. I remembered what I had felt when I had decided to leave my French boyfriend Olivier, how I had faced the breakup. I made myself hard and tough.

I said: I cannot accept that. You are going to have to leave, you know that, right?

And you said: yes.

I still didn't get angry at you straight out. I felt a cold rage, implacable. I wanted to spew out torrents of rage, and I couldn't do it. I felt numb. I thought of not going to Florida, pack up your bags when you'd come back on Monday.

I had to leave right away: drop Juliet and Lola off at school and go to Hofstra University.

During the drive to Long Island, I try to imagine packing your bag and leaving it outside our front door. Another cliché scene: the betrayed wife kicking out her philanderer husband.

No way. I can't play that scene.

I never packed your bags in my life. Why would I do it today, of all days?

Some women lacerate the guy's best suits with a razor blade, cut up his boxers to shreds. I visualize pouring bleach all over your Agnès b. shirts. Streaking your Armani and Hugo Boss jackets with day-glo paint. I see your black bag lying on the mat outside our door, but I cannot see myself kicking you out. My anger is frozen. I can't believe it's over between us. I will drive back to the city this afternoon and it will have been a bad dream, you will wait for me with your arms open. It's not true, you will say to me. I lied to you. There's no one else.

Of course I know it's true. But I can't bear to lose you. Not yet. I am not ready yet.

I call you from Hofstra.

I love you, I say. Maybe we can work it out. I couldn't accept the situation to go on for any length of time, and you will have to make a choice, but maybe I can try to live with it until you make up your mind.

Thanks, you say.

You sound relieved, I can tell in your voice.

Then I say: I'm still going to Florida.

Thanks, you say again. I couldn't have faced my parents on my own. They would terrify me. I need you there.

I backed down from the confrontation and you know it. You will pull on the string as long as I will let you. We are two animals in the quarry. You've tasted blood and I didn't fight back. Morals don't apply in this case. It's going to be a fight to the finish.



Is knowing better than not knowing? Is not knowing worse than knowing? Everybody has opinions about that. It's better to know. Knowledge is power, or is it????

Let me make a case for denial, just for the sake of argumentation. How it protects. How it lets you pretend that what is there is not there. How it protects the status quo. How it keeps everything in balance, however precarious, for a while anyway. How--for the pretender--it allows things to go on with just a little bit of accomodation, making room for that place where the dark hole of unacknowledged knowledge festers, temporarily jacketed. Denial: a rejection or refusing to acknowledge. How it allowed me to keep my jealousy from destroying me. How it allowed me to deal with an untenable situation without losing control. How I accommodated myself to it like one accepts a blind spot. How it kept me from collapsing. How we both, unconsciously, milked it for maximum erotic pleasure. How we both tacitly accepted it to protect our relationship. To protect our love, maybe. How we were both accomplices in denial: that which is not spoken doesn't exist.

Between the two of us, you are the most relieved, that you don't have to lie anymore. And me now, carrying the burden of knowing. You crying coming down the stairs, telling me how sorry you are for the pain you have caused me, for your cruelty. On the couch, you telling me that I am again the woman you fell in love with.

My strength came right back, I said.

Yeah, you said, but I am not here anymore.

There was regret in your voice.

We talked about our feelings again, something we are not very good at. I suggested you clean up your office upstairs, carve out some peaceful space to work, temporarily, until you decide what you're doing.

But this morning, the swing of the pendulum. I think I should get out of here, you said, find a studio somewhere or borrow an apartment to sort out my feelings. I would come for breakfast and take Lola to school, come in the afternoon to be with the kids. But don't have any illusions. Things will never be the same again between us.

And me, feeling the rage: if you leave, you leave. It's over.

But I don't tell you that. I'm still holding on to you.

I couldn't sleep after we made love last night, you said. It was a moment of weakness. Sex is like a bandaid covering up our problems. I don't think we should do that anymore.

You want to break up our sexual relationship?

Yes. I should move out to sort out what I am going to do.



If he leaves he will come back, my shrink said.

I don't know.



I am trying to get a feel for the apartment without you. How it would expand, lighten up maybe, without your tormented presence. Without your face brooding over  The New York Times. Without your toe fungus medicine on the night table (I wonder how romantic that will be on hers?). Your office, cleared up, emptied out. I could take a roommate, have a built-in babysitter as well as extra cash. The accumulation of eighteen years of living together, fifteen years in this apartment. Your books everywhere. The other day you were looking for a book and talked about the need to alphabetize, it was impossible to find anything. You are still at home here.

There will be a moment of truth, when your back will be against the wall. When you will face the void: when you will tip over to one side or the other. Or when I will make you choose: stay or leave. When I will have to kill my love for you. When I will look at what you've done, how you've destroyed our relationship to the point of no return, and despise you. When I will look at you and decide you're not anymore the same man I fell in love with.

There will come a time when you will pack your bag and walk out. Forever. Or not.

All week I have imagined this scene: you, folding your clothes, dropping them into your black bag on the bed. All week I have been afraid of coming back home to find you packed, afraid to witness your final steps to the door and the door slamming back on you.

But what if you were afraid of taking th
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 21, 2000

    No Fault Torture?

    Texier is pure relationship artist, which is sort of revolutionary in our age of self-help relationship psychology. She makes no attempt at psychology or explanation or analysis. Her book is just a searing and powerful look at her agony and heroic battle to survive as she is betrayed by her husband of 20 years. A knife in the stomach from a stranger is one sort of horror, but a long, slow, purposive, knife in the stomach from your life's partner is something we don't even want to imagine, the author persuasively assures us at great length and in various ways. In the age of no fault divorce this book asks us to consider how no one can be at fault for so much agony. How have we gotten to such a civilized point where brutal agony inflicted by one family member against another is considered normal and quite acceptable? Can a child be divorced? Can a child be civilized if beaten regularly? Can a spouse be civilized after such a similar betrayal? We seem to value family yet easily allow the most horrible violence we can imagine within a family, and with no obvious penalty, and often with feminist or psychological approval. You merely find a criticism of your partner and presto change you are in the value free no fault zone where a knife in the stomach is.... simply, not a knife in the stomach, but rather, 'following your heart' or 'liberating.' After all, a relationship is a two way street;a joint creation for which both parties are equally responsible. But oddly, Texier herself probably wouldn't want legal or social penalties to teach and encourage long term love. She is undoubtedly a modern woman attracted to modern ambiguity. Perhaps she herself, or her daughters, may one day need to escape a marriage to embrace the inspiration of another. Or perhaps she feels that following your heart to the inspiration of a new love is a better value than merely honoring a commitment to an old love, and old children? Or perhaps she feels there is something civilized about a voluntary new love where two agree to live anew; in loving harmony, rather than feel the boredom of something that is peaceful and routine, and as such no longer feels like love. We don't know. Ms. Texier seems neither philosopher nor psychologist.Whatever the truth about love, at least through Texier's pain we are forced to consider the feeling of love, which is more than 100 years of legislation, pop culture, and modern psychology can claim. In the end though she is an artist, free to paint a stunning inescapable picture and to force us to search for its larger meaning. It seems a wonder that such a book did not save Texier's marriage. Who would not want to be loved by a woman who loved so deeply and broadly? Most of us are limited to giving flowers, or saying 'I love you' or to other routine Hallmark expressions of love. But Texier is a fearless verbal artist who can simultaneously touch you with words and body in a way that creates two complimentary erotic women for you to love, each successfully daring the other to go farther and farther toward creating an intimacy in which we would all want to be safely ensconced. But Texier, like most women, never seemed to sense her sexual power. Rather, she fatally gave herself, over and over again, to her husband upon request until the very last moment possible, and he, like most men, took more than he could ever appreciate. A book called 'The 91% Factor' teaches women how to lovingly manage sexual power. One has to believe that perhaps it explains the one tiny little flaw in Texier's manner that prevented her from succeeding at that which we so badly wanted her to succeed. Without such a belief where would even such a heroic and loving figure as Ms. Texier get the fortitude to take such a frightening risk again? We know this dear sweet woman must take the risk again and we know that with her strength and talent she is not to be pitied no matter what happens. She can survive, sure, but we want this woman who has shared so much with

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 23, 2000

    The Exposed Heart still beating...

    This book was a heartfelt, deeply emotional exposition of the author's heart being surgically removed from the body of an 18-year marriage. I read it and felt as if my own heart was being removed. Ms. Texier does not hold back and the reader is drawn into the whole sordid affair. As a young female, I would want to believe that such pain could not befall me, but Ms Texier underlines that it is not the betrayal, but the lesson that we women must take with us. Thank you for sharing your pain, Ms Texier.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)