When I was twenty-three I was a full time in nanny in Seattle for many different families. I wrote an essay about the boys I babysat called My Heart Was Still Beating.

One of kids’ I babysat’s mother had an entire basement full of books I sometimes browsed through. It was there I found the book BREAK UP by Catherine Texier, which released in 1999. I loved this book, still own it; my employer let me keep it. I’d never seen a woman write this way: raw, sparse, unflinching, vulnerable, strong.

My mom read it and my friends read it too because I made them. It was, in some ways, my inspiration for my book WOMEN and my essay YES TO CARROTS.

I couldn’t find Catherine’s email back in 2009, but I found her husband’s email. (The book is about her husband leaving her. In the 80s Catherine and her husband co-edited and published a zine called Between C and D) I emailed her husband—the novelist Joel Rose—I was so emboldened back then—and I said to him, sorry if this is weird, but I’m trying to email your ex wife because I just read her book. He was kind and gave me her email address. Not weird at all, he said. Catherine and I have a daughter named Chloe, by the way, he said.

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I emailed Catherine sometimes when I published an essay (I was shameless!) She responded in February 2010:

Thank you for your very kind email about Breakup. I was very moved that it had such an effect on you, and that you took the trouble to email Joel, then me.
Then I read your piece and thought it was very honest and raw, and I could see why Breakup resonated with you. It’s coming from the same place. I liked how the ending of your piece twists it around from self-pity to openness and – yes – love, which changes the whole color of it. Well done.
Good luck with your writing.

Any who—Catherine emailed me last week that she’d read WOMEN and asked me to read with her at HOWL! in NYC in a couple weeks for the release of her new book RUSSIAN LESSONS.

She didn’t remember how I used to harass her six years ago or the emails we wrote back and forth. She introduced herself and her writing to me.

I know who you are, I said. Remember?

(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.)

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The reading is Sunday, February 21st, 7pm. at HOWL! Gallery (6 East 1st Street).

I’m reading with Catherine, Paula Bomer, and Larissa Pham. I can’t wait to finally meet Catherine.






4 thoughts on “BREAK UP

  1. This is great Chloe!! I’m so thrilled For you!! I thought you were an incredible writer when we first met several years ago ..and you continue to be one of my favorites! Women was a HUGE deal for my granddaughter and her friends who are all 18-23 or so!! ❤️❤️❤️❤️


    Sent from my iPhone


  2. Good for you!! This is an awesome accomplishment and goes to show that hard work and dedication really do pay off.

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