BookBrowse Reviews The Friend Who Got Away by Jenny Offill, Elissa Schappell

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The Friend Who Got Away

by Jenny Offill, Elissa Schappell

The Friend Who Got Away by Jenny Offill, Elissa Schappell X
The Friend Who Got Away by Jenny Offill, Elissa Schappell
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     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    May 2005, 320 pages
    Paperback:
    May 2006, 320 pages

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Essays about lost friendships

From the book jacket: 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 brings 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.

Comment: The Friend Who Got Away claims to be the first book to address the near-universal experience of losing a best friend - that seems a rather expansive claim - perhaps it is the first collection of essays to address this particular subject, but surely not the first book? The collection has been well received, although one or two reviewers comment that they wished more time had been spent on exploring the nature of friendship rather than presenting the stories as straightforward biography, and some wished that a wider range of friendships had been explored - all but one of the stories are about the friendships between women. :

'A book to savor, despite its imperfections. But think twice before giving it to your best friend.' - Kirkus Reviews

'By breaking the silence about failed friendship so literately, this book appeals to many more readers than just students of interpersonal psychology.' - Booklist.

This review was originally published in The BookBrowse Review in June 2005, and has been updated for the May 2006 edition. Click here to go to this issue.

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