MY LESBIAN HUSBAND by Barrie Jean Borich


Landscapes of a Marriage
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A passionate, intricately composed memoir of the author’s long-term love relationship, set against the backdrop of their Minneapolis neighborhood and complicated family ties.

With colorful, witty, richly woven prose, Borich (Restoring the Color of Roses) invites the reader into a life that is at once ordinary and wholly unique. Alternating between different years in her relationship, and leading up to her actual wedding, Borich’s narrative unfolds like a patchwork quilt. She offers sketches of her family, daily dog walks, city noises and urban dramas, her collection of kitschy Madonna art, and her lover’s obsession with motorcycles and birdwatching. Though clearly a romantic, Borich is no fool. She acknowledges the precariousness of permanence even as her prose swirls around her and her lover’s entwined feet: "I doubt our lives or loves are predetermined...Much of the time I get to choose, and I don't need a psychic to tell me which is the happier destiny. Today I choose to cling to this world, to Linnea’s arm, as the planet where we live inches around its axis again and we breathe in and out, wondering what will happen tomorrow." Borich does skimp a bit on the nitty-gritty of tensions, problems, and arguments that must have arisen over 12 years of partnership. But if she errs on the side of bliss, she does so by staying rooted in everyday experience. She is similarly egalitarian in her portrayal of family members and the ways in which heterosexual bonding is awarded more legitimacy by her parents, aunts, and cousins. One of the moving aspects of the book is how some of these family members shift over the years toward more acceptance of Borich and her "lesbian husband."

Much broader than a lesbian-interest title, this book will resonate with many readers, regardless of sexual orientation, bringing a nod of recognition to some, a twinge of longing to others.

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1999
ISBN: 1-55597-292-6
Page count: 308pp
Publisher: Graywolf
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15th, 1999


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