BREAKUP by Catherine Texier


The End of a Love Story
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The diary of a divorce: at times incantatory and overwrought, but always fired by emotion. Texier, French-born novelist (Panic Blood, 1990, etc.) and co-founder of the East Village literary magazine Between C & D, has written a slim, elegant book about the discovery of her husband’s adultery in what was to be the last year of their marriage. In spite of the potential for melodrama and self-pity, Texier maintains a certain cool distance, using the English language almost as an artist would paint. In her hands, it becomes a fluid medium, a means to convey color to the page. And in this instance, that color would have to be blood red: the color of an open wound as well as of love. Even though the book is laced through with Texier’s rage, Breakup functions, paradoxically enough, like a valentine in reverse. In its pages, Texier offers intimate testimony of the passionate, symbiotic love she had with her husband, novelist Joel Rose. During the majority of their 18 years together, the two writers combined efforts on Between C & D, supported each others’s careers, renovated their apartment, and raised two daughters. When Rose fell in love with his editor, Texier couldn’t understand why he would willingly sacrifice his family for the thrill of the new, but then, adultery is rarely subject to rationality. It’s even surprising that Texier has rationalized her own responses sufficiently to write a book about it, but then, she does occasionally slip into pure lament: “What did I do to be punished so? What nerve did I touch? How did I do you wrong?” The end result, however, is a work of emotional control and literary exhibitionism. In spite of its formal elegance, Breakup elicits a kind of uneasy sense of voyeruistic complicity—this is, above all, an indelibly intimate view of the demise of a marriage. (Author tour)

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1998
ISBN: 0-385-49268-5
Page count: 149pp
Publisher: Doubleday
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15th, 1998


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