BREAK UP

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.

 

 

 

 

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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!! ❤️❤️❤️❤️

    Kathy

    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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