By Anne Roiphe
(Harper, Hardcover, 9780061254628, 224pp.)
Publication Date: September 2008
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Widowed novelist, near seventy, ex-Park Avenue girl, ex-beatnik, ex-many other things too complicated to list here, loves big parties, summers at the beach, grandchildren, seeks interesting man for dinner and a movie.
Anne Roiphe was not quite seventy years old when her husband of nearly forty years unexpectedly passed away. But it was not until her daughters placed a personal ad in a literary journal that Roiphe began to consider the previously unimagined possibility of a new man. Moving between heartbreaking memories of her marriage and the pressing needs of a new day-to-day routine, Epilogue takes us on her journey into the unknown world of life after love.
Roiphe decides to reenter the dating world. But between new lunches, coffee dates, and e-mail exchanges, she wrestles with an unsettling loneliness. Recollections of marriage evoke complex, unexpected emotions on her journey through grief toward new companionship. In beautifully wrought vignettes, she recalls hailing a cab for the first time and learning to lock and unlock the front door—tasks her husband had always done.
Eloquent and astute, Epilogue tells the story of love rekindled and life remade. Roiphe offers us an elegant literary pastiche not of grief, but of hope and renewal.
“Each word seems like the individual beat of a human heart. . . . As fragile and as haunting as memory itself.”
-Kirkus Reviews (starred)
“Radiates with raw emotion and is both painful to read and terrifying to consider. . . . No one can really prepare a woman for this passage in life, but Roiphe’s luminous memoir is a beacon of help and, ultimately, hope.”
“In poignant flashes of everyday moments and memories, Roiphe tells an unflinching and unsentimental story of widowhood’s stupefying disquiet, of surviving love and living on.”
-Publishers Weekly (starred review)