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You're Married to Her?
Cover of You're Married to Her?
You're Married to Her?
by Ira Wood
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As the anti-Vietnam War movement drew to a close, a twenty-six-year-old unknown playwright began an affair with a glamorous older woman, a feminist activist and acclaimed poet/novelist at the height of her career. What she saw in a neurotic, sexually naïve, poorly educated but very sweet guy was apparent to no one, especially him. Using a wildly self-skewering but oddly sympathetic narrative voice that fulfills The New York Times' assessment of his "special gift for heartwarming comedy," Ira Wood re-imagines his early years with Marge Piercy in a series of chronologically linked essays, never failing to raise the question that few have failed to ask: You're married to Her?

With the brazen candor of Toby Young's How to Lose Friends and Alienate People and the wicked lunacy of David Sedaris, Wood tells tales of his first true love, who he told his parents were dead; his disastrous affair with a promiscuous single mother, while he was involved with Piercy; his childhood dependence on speed; and running for public office on a lark—and winning—only to find himself responsible for the government of a small town. Thirty years later he's still married to Her, confident enough to share, and laugh at, what men do when their behavior slips to the level of their self-esteem.

Ira Wood is the author of two novels and the co-author, with Marge Piercy, of two highly acclaimed books, a novel and a writing text. His talk show The Lowdown streams on WOMR-FM, a Pacifica network affiliate.

As the anti-Vietnam War movement drew to a close, a twenty-six-year-old unknown playwright began an affair with a glamorous older woman, a feminist activist and acclaimed poet/novelist at the height of her career. What she saw in a neurotic, sexually naïve, poorly educated but very sweet guy was apparent to no one, especially him. Using a wildly self-skewering but oddly sympathetic narrative voice that fulfills The New York Times' assessment of his "special gift for heartwarming comedy," Ira Wood re-imagines his early years with Marge Piercy in a series of chronologically linked essays, never failing to raise the question that few have failed to ask: You're married to Her?

With the brazen candor of Toby Young's How to Lose Friends and Alienate People and the wicked lunacy of David Sedaris, Wood tells tales of his first true love, who he told his parents were dead; his disastrous affair with a promiscuous single mother, while he was involved with Piercy; his childhood dependence on speed; and running for public office on a lark—and winning—only to find himself responsible for the government of a small town. Thirty years later he's still married to Her, confident enough to share, and laugh at, what men do when their behavior slips to the level of their self-esteem.

Ira Wood is the author of two novels and the co-author, with Marge Piercy, of two highly acclaimed books, a novel and a writing text. His talk show The Lowdown streams on WOMR-FM, a Pacifica network affiliate.

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About the Author-
  • Ira Wood is the author of three novels (The Kitchen Man, Going Public, and Storm Tide, with Marge Piercy) and of So You Want to Write, with Marge Piercy. Ira and Marge have been co-teaching a popular course of the same name for over twenty years. His weekly public radio show, The Lowdown (WOMR.ORG), features interviews with newsmakers, politicians, artists, and writers.

Table of Contents-
  • The Small Penis Rule...
    A Major Work of Fiction...
    The Gift that Keeps on Giving...
    Satyricon...
    A Scandal in the Family...
    Mr. Nappy Head...
    A Work in F**king Progress...
    The Syllogism...
    The One Who Dies with the Most Sex Wins...
    Hammer and Flay...
    You are What You Owe...
    The MacArthur Foundation of Vegetables...
    Mediocrity is the New Fabulous...

Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    June 11, 2012
    Loosely structured around the events of, and leading up to, his marriage to writer Marge Piercy, this humorous essay collection by novelist Wood (The Kitchen Man) reflects a passionate literary life textured by success, marred by failure and insecurities, and speckled with humiliation. Wood favors a conversational tone as he riffs on his past as an overweight teenager who tries to impress a crush with the lie that his parents are dead; as a cocaine-addled 30-something whose short-lived addiction brings a bump in productivity, but a decline in sexual prowess; as a smalltown politician facing a hefty prison sentence; and, in the bizarre and winning “Heartsong of the Warrior, Inc.,” as a middle-aged trainee participating in a course designed to teach men how to “connect with the lost masculine power within.” Piercy, a celebrated novelist and poet who, Wood notes, is closer in age to his mother than to him, figures prominently in only three essays (though she appears throughout), making her a curious yet affectionate choice as the connecting thread. While mostly charming and witty, thanks to Wood’s intimate tone and keen gift of observation, the essays suffer from off-balance narration, peculiar pacing, and dropped endings, with many of the most interesting or harrowing recollections veering close to an act of saving face, stifling rather than illuminating the strangeness of growing up as a writer.

  • Kirkus

    July 15, 2012
    A slim yet raucous romp through a novelist's life. Spanning several decades, with sex as the undercurrent that ties these essays together, Wood (Going Public, 1991, etc.) amusingly exposes his adolescent, marital and extramarital exploits. "I laughed at guys who drove hundred-fifty-thousand-dollar Mercedes," he writes. "I viewed fitness fetishists as lumpy bags of rock. Mansions, advanced degrees, academic prizes, were as foolish a way to prove oneself as a trophy room full of rhinoceros heads...It was obvious to me that the one who dies with the most sex wins." Determined to prove this point to readers, Wood wittily interweaves his sex life with his work as a writer, art teacher, book publisher, small-town government official and husband to writer Marge Piercy, with whom he has authored two books (So You Want to Write, 2001, etc.). Wood also self-deprecatingly divulges his youthful indiscretions, including the blatant lie to his first lover that his parents were dead, his dalliances with cocaine and his contraction of chlamydia. He reveals his testy confrontations with his parents and the ill feelings caused by his representation of his mother in a novel, which remained a sore spot for years. Fortunately, maturity and a long-term relationship stabilized his life. Although Wood writes that "sex is more interesting than writing," he has successfully combined both in this bawdy bit of self-scrutiny. Saucy, sexy stories of a young writer's life.

    COPYRIGHT(2012) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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