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.
I emailed Catherine sometimes when I published an essay (I was shameless!) She responded in February 2010:
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.)
The reading is Sunday, February 21st, 7pm. at HOWL! Gallery (6 East 1st Street).