Love and Trouble: Book summary and reviews of Love and Trouble by Claire Dederer

Love and Trouble

A Midlife Reckoning

by Claire Dederer

Love and Trouble by Claire Dederer X
Love and Trouble by Claire Dederer
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  • Published in USA  May 2017
    256 pages
    Genre: Biography/Memoir

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Book Summary

From the New York Times best-selling author of Poser: My Life in Twenty-Three Yoga Poses, a ferocious, sexy, hilarious memoir about going off the rails at midlife and trying to reconcile the girl she was with the woman she has become.

Claire Dederer is a happily married mother of two, ages nine and twelve, when she suddenly finds herself totally despondent and, simultaneously, suffering through a kind of erotic reawakening. This exuberant memoir shifts between her present experience as a middle-aged mom in the grip of mysterious new hungers and herself as a teenager - when she last experienced life with such heightened sensitivity and longing.

From her hilarious chapter titles ("How to Have Sex with Your Husband of Seventeen Years") to her subjects - from the boyfriend she dumped at fourteen the moment she learned how to give herself an orgasm, to the girls who ruled her elite private school ("when I left Oberlin I thought I had done with them forever, but it turned out ... they also edited all the newspapers and magazines, and wrote all the books"), to raising a teenage daughter herself - Dederer writes with an electrifying blend of wry wit and raw honesty. She exposes herself utterly, and in doing so captures something universal about the experience of being a woman, a daughter, a wife.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. Insightful, provocative, and fearlessly frank, Dederer seduces readers with her warmth, wit, and wisdom." - Kirkus

"This candid memoir will resonate with women (and quite possibly men) of all ages, but particularly those in midlife. Dederer brings a startling intimacy and immediacy to her version of growing up female in America." - Publishers Weekly

"In equal parts hilarious and haunting, Love and Trouble captures the ways in which our past selves are never really past. In loose, edgy, confident prose, Claire Dederer peels back layer after layer of herself as an erotic creature, and in so doing has crafted a book that grabs the reader in an utterly visceral way. This is an exciting, daring memoir." - Dani Shapiro

"Love and Trouble is unlike any memoir I've ever read: formally inventive and wise, have-to-put-the-book-down funny yet somehow tinged with grief ... I began reading Love and Trouble thinking Dederer was writing about herself; halfway through I decided she was writing about me. By the time I finished I realized she'd written to me, and to my daughters - to all of us." - Jamie Quatro

"Dederer is not only a brilliant author, but an honest and brave one, who is not afraid to deep-dive into her own history and her own heart in order to examine what it really means to be a woman right now ... I saw myself all over these pages, and a think a lot of other readers will, as well." - Elizabeth Gilbert

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Author Information

Claire Dederer

Claire Dederer is the author of the New York Times best-selling memoir Poser: My Life in Twenty-Three Yoga Poses, which has been translated into twelve languages, and which Elizabeth Gilbert called "the book we all need." A book critic, essayist, and reporter, Dederer is a longtime contributor to The New York Times and has also written for The Atlantic, Vogue, Slate, The Nation, and New York magazine, among other publications. She lives on an island near Seattle with her family.

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