Love Is a Four-Letter Word: True Stories of Breakups, Bad Relationships, and Broken Hearts

Love Is a Four-Letter Word: True Stories of Breakups, Bad Relationships, and Broken Hearts

4.0 2
by Michael Taeckens
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

From Junot Díaz, Lynda Barry, Gary Shteyngart, and Kate Christensen to popular up-and-comers like Dan Kennedy, Wendy McClure, and Brock Clarke, Love Is a Four-Letter Word is a dead-on contemporary collection of true stories of seduction, heartbreak, and regret. Fearlessly revealing their shattered hearts and crushed egos; their indiscretions and

Overview

From Junot Díaz, Lynda Barry, Gary Shteyngart, and Kate Christensen to popular up-and-comers like Dan Kennedy, Wendy McClure, and Brock Clarke, Love Is a Four-Letter Word is a dead-on contemporary collection of true stories of seduction, heartbreak, and regret. Fearlessly revealing their shattered hearts and crushed egos; their indiscretions and indignities; their delusions, desperation, and disappointments, these talented writers capture the dark side of love in prose ranging from comic to poetic, poignant to cringe-inducing. Also featuring three cartoon/ graphic essays as a sixteen-page color insert, this anthology is perfect for anyone who’s ever loved and lost.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Breakups are hard to forget, and this collection-surprisingly restrained yet full of emotion-is equally memorable. Patty Van Norman's two-frame graphic story "Dear Ugly, Dear Fatso" (other graphic entries are from Lynda Barry and Emily Flake) resonates like a quick punch to the solar plexus. Josh Kilmer-Purcell writes of the lover who could only perform with Wonder Woman on the television. George Singleton urinates a bellyful of beer into his ex's kitty litter box. Maud Newton tells of a sex- and rage-filled relationship, wondering: "was he the abusive one, or was I?" Taeckens, publicity director at Algonquin Books, anthologizes modern heartbreak in stories replete with contemporary commentaries (e.g., using Match.com to express a new relationship status). In a book full of hits, Amanda Stern's "Scout's Honor," about camping in the Washington Cascades, stands out. The collection's material could make one feel a bit voyeuristic, but throughout this tender book one instead feels like a privileged confidant. (July 28)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Kirkus Reviews
A compendium of personal essays and cartoons about heartbreak, penned by 23 contemporary American writers. Editor Taeckens, publicity director for Algonquin Books, gathers a disparate group to share their private travails about love gone wrong. The authors range from married to single, straight to gay and transgendered, and they describe vastly different periods of their lives, from Patty Van Norman's messily scrawled childhood breakup letter ("Dear Ugly and Dear Fatso") to Jami Attenberg's cynical account of a near-reconciliation with a cheating boyfriend, composed in the second person. Many of the stories voice a shared sentiment-a desire to be loved the way the authors have always wanted. Standouts include Junot D'az's "Homecoming, with Turtle," Gary Shteyngart's "Texas" and Maud Newton's "Conversations You Have at Twenty." Humorist Dan Kennedy, author of the acerbic 2008 memoir Rock On, crafts a hilarious piece about dating a divorced aerobics instructor a decade older than he, but Josh Kilmer-Purcell's account of devoting a year to matching his age (25) with casual sex partners falls flat. In "Leave Me Something When You Leave Me," Brock Clarke experiments with repetition, but the result is a grating mess with none of the dark wit that distinguished his acclaimed 2007 novel, An Arsonist's Guide to Writers' Homes in New England. Kate Christensen writes sparingly of the affair she almost had with a sophomoric high-school teacher, who didn't recognize her after she gained weight. Taeckens contributes an account of his unhealthy entanglement with a cheating teacher (not his). Other contributors include Lynda Barry, Jennifer Finney Boylan and Emily Flake. As is often true of anthologies,uneven but rewarding and worth dipping into from time to time.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781101105108
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
07/28/2009
Sold by:
Penguin Group
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
320
Sales rank:
804,475
File size:
2 MB
Age Range:
18 Years

Meet the Author

Michael Taeckens is the publicity director for Algonquin Books and received his MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >

Love Is a Four-Letter Word: True Stories of Breakups, Bad Relationships, and Broken Hearts 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love Is A...is excellent reading. It's good to read about stories that are similar to your own and to be able to overcome the harshness that sometimes comes with being in LOVE. I really felt connected to the authors and thier tales of woe and seduction. This is a definite must read.