The Friend Who Got Away: Twenty Women's True Life Tales of Friendships that Blew Up, Burned Out or Faded Away

The Friend Who Got Away: Twenty Women's True Life Tales of Friendships that Blew Up, Burned Out or Faded Away

by Jenny Offill, Elissa Schappell
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The Friend Who Got Away: Twenty Women's True Life Tales of Friendships that Blew Up, Burned Out or Faded Away by Jenny Offill, Elissa Schappell

Losing a friend can be as painful and as agonizing as a divorce or the end of a love affair, yet it is rarely written about or even discussed. THE FRIEND WHO GOT AWAY is the first book to address this near-universal experience, bringing together the brave, eloquent voices of writers like Francine Prose, Katie Roiphe, Dorothy Allison, Elizabeth Strout, Ann Hood, Diana Abu Jabar, Vivian Gornick, Helen Schulman, and many others. Some write of friends who have drifted away, others of sudden breakups that took them by surprise. Some even celebrate their liberation from unhealthy or destructive relationships. Yet at the heart of each story is the recognition of a loss that will never be forgotten.

From stories about friendships that dissolved when one person revealed a hidden self or moved into a different world, to tales of relationships sabotaged by competition, personal ambition, or careless indifference, THE FRIEND WHO GOT AWAY casts new light on the meaning and nature of women’s friendships. Katie Roiphe writes with regret about the period in her life when even close friends seemed expendable compared to men and sex. Mary Morris reveals how a loan led to the unraveling of a lifelong friendship. Vivian Gornick explores how intellectual differences eroded the bond between once inseparable companions. And two contributors, once best friends, tell both sides of the story that led to their painful breakup.

Written especially for this anthology and touched with humor, sadness, and sometimes anger, these extraordinary pieces simultaneously evoke the uniqueness of each situation and illuminate the universal emotions evoked by the loss of a friend.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780307419378
Publisher: Crown/Archetype
Publication date: 12/18/2007
Sold by: Random House
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 320
File size: 536 KB

About the Author

JENNY OFFILL is the author of the novel Last Things. She teaches in the M.F.A. writing program at Brooklyn College. ELISSA SCHAPPELL is the author of the novel Use Me, a contributing editor to Vanity Fair, and a cofounder of Tin House.

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Friend Who Got Away: Twenty Women's True Life Tales of Friendships That Blew up, Burned out or Faded Away 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
True, honest stories that suck you in with sublime writing and impart enormous insight into female relationships. Must reading for women wishing to improve theirs. Whereas beloved women have slipped in and out of my life like a dream, I now feel more conscious of the psychological and emotional intricacies that were in play. And sometimes life just happens--people change, circumstances change, nothing is forever. Sometimes it's nobody's fault, and acceptance frees you up for something better.
The_Book_Wheel_Blog More than 1 year ago
'The Friend' Found Its Way In These Essays The Friend Who Got Away: Twenty Women’s True Life Tales of Friendships that Blew Up, Burned Out or Faded Away by Jenny Offill and Elissa Schappell (author of Blueprints for Building Better Girls, which is on my Kindle) is a book of essays written by women who lost a female friendship. Some were by choice, others by mistake, and a few for no reason at all. As a woman who is entering her 30′s, I have begun to experience first hand the effects of losing a longtime female friendship for no other reason other than drifting away, and I have ended some by choice. What I loved about this book is that it’s honest. The introduction discusses how it’s okay to breakup with lovers, but that female friendship rarely end with a clean break. This is because women hold each other to higher standards, and to commit an act of betrayal against a female friend is much worse than having done so in a romantic relationship (and women also grant other women more leeway in their behaviors). While all of the essays were great, I was most intrigued by the back-to-back essays written by two women who had lost their friendship years before. It was fascinating to see two different people describe their perception of the friendship and its dissolution, demonstrating that each person perceives and feels things different. This is a great book for any woman who has ever lost a friend to time, betrayal, or simply to the circumstances of life. It was nice to realize that I am not alone and that it’s okay not to feel guilty about the ending of a friendship. It’s more important for women to celebrate the time they had together than to focus on the drifting apart.
mkpetersonMP More than 1 year ago
The writing in this book is good enough to eat. I think we write best about things we know well, things near and dear to our heart. And friends are. Surprisingly, the stories are not such downers, because they also tell how friends are made and grow and how dear they can be. And then they end, not because there's something wrong with us. But because we just quit needing each other so much, or grow differently, and that's life. it's okay.
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