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Here Lies My Heart: Essays on Why We Marry, Why We Don't, and What We Find There
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Here Lies My Heart: Essays on Why We Marry, Why We Don't, and What We Find There

3.53  ·  Rating details ·  74 Ratings  ·  16 Reviews
This book is for the once, never, and much married. For believers and skeptics, love's fools and love's thieves. It is for people with long memories and long histories and for people who reinvent themselves in every new town, new decade, new relationship. This book is for everyone whose heart lies where it should, where it shouldn't, and, in the end, where it must. -Amy Bl ...more
Paperback, 224 pages
Published April 1st 1999 by Beacon Press
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Alice Urchin
Oct 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned
My favorites in the bunch: "Serial Lover" by Rebecca Walker and "For Better and Worse" by Lynn Darling. I'd say that this book was worth reading, not just because it provides numerous varying perspectives on marriage and monogamy but because it led me to buy five more books by writers I'd previously never heard of. My main criticisms are that a few of the essays promote gender stereotyping and hetero-centrism a bit more than I'm comfortable with, but there were many essays by feminists and two b ...more
Dec 16, 2008 rated it liked it
This collection promises essays on "why we marry" and "why we don't." Unfortunately, this is a little misleading. There are plenty of essays about why people married, and quite a few about why they cheated or why they got divorced...but only one writer really chooses not to marry at all. And that essay is, even more unfortunately, one of the worst of the bunch.

Though I'm still looking for those elusive "why we don't" essays, there were some wonderful pieces in this book. Some stand-outs: Mark Do
Kater Cheek
Mar 20, 2011 rated it liked it
This started out being the perfect book for peeking into candid, graphic depictions of other people's marital lives. It's like listening to your friends dish on what's really happening at home, except pithy, and with more adjectives and metaphors.

The essay authors have a varied range, from the never-married to the may-someday-be-married, from the faithful to the cheaters, both genders and all orientations. Since they're all written by writers, the subjects seem a little more neurotic than averag
Beverly Kennett
I read this book shortly after my second divorce as a form of therapy. I liked the realness of the stories. The authors all had different experiences with love and marriage and even divorce, yet the underlying theme points to the way everyone struggles with their choices. The stories don't offer any magical answers, they just show the uncertainty of all relationships and how people will continue to make choices about marriage, just as we make choices about all aspects of our lives. Sometimes the ...more
Kristen Northrup
Picked this up because I recognized several names and it's an interesting topic. As others have said, though, it's not well-balanced. Either needed more from the unmarried or a different subtitle. The first half dozen or so pieces seemed too short and/or disjointed to accomplish anything, which is odd when you discover that they were deliberately chosen for re-publication here rather than being commissioned new and done half-heartedly. But the collection improved from there. And as the editor sa ...more
Gina R. Evers
Jan 22, 2013 rated it liked it
There are some big-name writers included in this collection: Amy Bloom, Barbara Ehrenreich, Vivian Gornick, David Mamet. I was surprised that many of the essays were abstract or occasionally meandering. Even so, many themes that intersect relationships of love -- personal growth, independence, monogomy, faith, ritual -- are represented here, answering the implicit question: what's at stake in a marriage? Mark Doty also offers a lovely essay on writing grief.
Sep 22, 2008 rated it really liked it
Good range of perspectives in this collection of essays, including an argument for infidelity as a marriage boost. Several pieces just a few pages long. I related to a lot of it, found some of it kind of heartbreaking, and the rest intriguing in a baffling way. It was the first whole book I managed to read after Felix was born.
Antonio Garcia-Martinez
Aug 30, 2009 rated it really liked it

Full disclosure: the (pregnant) girlfriend with whom ongoing wedding negotiations are in process essentially pilfered this book and has not been able to put it down (which is saying something).

Some of the essays are stellar, some are merely amusing (think the 'Lives' piece on the back page of the NYT Sunday Magazine). None are crap. Worth reading if you're making the conjugal plunge.
Interesting book that I read for my Sociology of Love class. Probably worthwhile to go back and read again now that I've grown a bit in the relationship department and am examining my own feelings about marriage.
Apr 27, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-2012, nonfiction
Some essays in this collection were very good but I agree that it wasn't balanced. There weren't many essays by those who've chosen to not marry and too many on affairs. Still an interesting look at how others perceive marriage.
Aug 05, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Essays on Why We Marry, Why We Don't and What We Find There. I like it, though some of the authors seemed to me young and idealistic. I like the essays by authors I have previously read: Mark Doty, Lewis Buzbee. Eagerly awaiting the Willie Morris and David Mamet essays in the book.
Victoria Tirrel
Mar 18, 2011 rated it liked it
Nice essays but only the foreward is by Amy Bloom, who I was following when I bought it. I think that disappointment colored my read.
Jul 12, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: memoirs
A mixed but interesting collection of essays on marriage, its pluses and minuses. I'm filing this under "memoirs," since the essays are all mostly personal.
Jul 13, 2008 marked it as to-read
Anthology of essays; introduction by Amy Bloom (author of "Away")
Donna Kirk
Jan 29, 2008 rated it it was amazing
read for class a few years ago.
Nov 03, 2009 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2009
Some of the stories were so "literary" in such a pretentious manner that the stories revealed nothing at all about the state of marriage (or divorce).

This one's not a keeper.
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