A memoir in essays that expands on the viral sensation “The Crane Wife” with a frank and funny look at love, intimacy, and self in the twenty-first century. From friends and lovers to blood family and chosen family, this “elegant masterpiece” (Roxane Gay,New York Timesbestselling author of Hunger) asks what more expansive definitions of love might offer us all.
“An intellectually vigorous and emotionally resonant account of how a self gets created over time,The Crane Wifewill satisfy and inspire anyone who has ever asked, ‘How did I get here, and what happens now?’… Hauser builds her life’s inventory out of deconstructed personal narratives, resulting in a reading experience that’s rich like a complicated dessert—not for wolfing down but for savoring in small bites.” —The New York Times
Ten days after calling off her wedding, CJ Hauser went on an expedition to Texas to study the whooping crane. After a week wading through the gulf, she realized she’d almost signed up to live someone else’s life.
In this intimate, frank, and funny memoir-in-essays, Hauser releases herself from traditional narratives of happiness and goes looking for ways of living that leave room for the unexpected, making plenty of mistakes along the way. She kisses Internet strangers and officiates at a wedding. She rereadsRebeccain the house her boyfriend once shared with his ex-wife and rewinds Katharine Hepburn inThe Philadelphia Storyto learn how not to lose yourself in a relationship. She thinks about Florence Nightingale at a robot convention and grief at John Belushi’s rock and roll gravesite, and the difference between those stories we’re asked to hold versus those we choose to carry. She writes about friends and lovers, blood family and chosen family, and asks what more expansive definitions of love might offer us all.
Told with the late-night barstool directness of your wisest, most bighearted friend,The Crane Wifeis a book for everyone whose life doesn’t look the way they thought it would; for everyone learning to find joy in the not-knowing; for everyone trying, if sometimes failing, to build a new sort of life story, a new sort of family, a new sort of home, to live in.