Today is the publication date of my husband’s first novel, The Variations. We met at a pretentious poetry workshop in the West Village where the woman who ran it insisted on calling me Elizabeth instead of my nick name. Later, John and I spent most Friday nights at the St. Marks Poetry workshop. I fell in love with him over baked chicken at the Second Avenue Deli before the workshop and over cappuccinos at the Cloister’s Cafe after, specifically when he handed me a poem called “Parts On a Beach,” and I believed I had met the Wallace Stevens of our generation.
Thirty three years later, many lost notebooks, many lost weekends, my dearest darling has produced a novel that fulfills all the promise of that young man in corduroy pants with the cuffs stapled, with poems stuffed in his pockets, who played the accordion after we made love. It is a searching story of a priest whose faith is dwindling along with his congregation. It is about the troubled young woman who haunts him (shades of me), and the editor who tries to save him (more shades of me). If you like me, you’re gonna the love this book and the women in it. But mostly, you will fall in love Dom, the all too human, flawed priest at its center. His thwarted quest for faith is exquisite.
In subsequent posts this week, I will write about a) living with a novelist b) sleeping with writers and c) a guest post from said novelist. For now, sending out big congratulations to my darling.
People always ask me if I edit John. What do you think?
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