Psychology Dan Roche Love's Labors

ISBN 13: 9781573220675

Love's Labors

2.75 avg rating
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9781573220675: Love's Labors

Daniel Roche's honest, affecting, and insightful memoir of his own "starter marriage" (begun when he was twenty-four and ended before his thirty-first birthday) is both an account of a uniquely American marriage and divorce, and the story of what one man's life as a husband taught him about being a man. This could be the story of hundreds of un-coupled young couples. Dan Roche's first marriage was anomalous in typically late-twentieth-century ways. Dan and his first wife married young. They never quite settled down during their eight-year marriage, spending about half their time apart, in job and grad-school bits and pieces. They hyphenated their last names. And when their marriage was over, Dan and his first wife and his second wife went out for Chinese together. Love's Labors is a deeply personal yet universal memoir of a modern marriage. For what lingers is not how different this marriage was, but how common, how full of everyday anxieties and hopes. Roche's story is a rare glimpse into the heart and soul of a man, in a voice that is sure and true--the husband's story of one couple's fight against traditional pressures in a modern marriage and divorce. And the choices they made about their independence, responsibilities, and commitment will speak to couples everywhere who are trying to forge their own, new version of an age-old institution.

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About the Author:

Dan Roche earned an M.A. in nonfiction writing and a Ph.D. in English from the University of Iowa, and now teaches creative writing at the University of Central Arkansas. He lives with his second wife, Maura Brady, and their daughter, Maeve, in Conway, Arkansas.

From Kirkus Reviews:

A curiously unfeeling account of a marriage of the 1980s that ended in childless divorce after eight years. Launching a relationship that was to be ``different,'' Roche (Creative Writing/Univ. of Central Arkansas) and Julie Elman, who met in karate class, made their first date an 80-mile bicycle trip. They opted for the Peace Corps instead of a honeymoon, and when the Peace Corps assignment fizzled, they settled arbitrarily in Denver, with no jobs and no prospects. Back home in Ohio, Roche found a job while Julie enrolled in graduate school on the other side of the state, establishing the pattern of separations that would last the rest of the marriage. In a reversal of traditional roles, she was restless, he ``patient and generous,'' practicing the ``art of sacrifice'' and setting goals for the relationship (long-term, stable, fostering both independence and self- sacrifice). Julie did her adventurous thing, which included jobs in distant settings, plus a six-month solo trek along the Appalachian Trail. Roche's own two stints in graduate school, plus a summer in Europealso sololeft the couple with what amounted to a weekend marriage. He had an affair, which he told her about after the fact; she had an affair but asked his permission first. After one last summer of living together and trying to turn their ``fantasies about each other'' into reality, they divorced. Roche found another partner quickly, but questionsand angerabout his first marriage continued to surface. He put them to rest with this book, which opens and closes at lunch trois with his first and second wives. From a player who seems more a distant observer, a memoir that offers the reader neither personal passion nor useful insight on so-called ``starter marriages.'' -- Copyright 1999, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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