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Foreverland: On the Divine Tedium of Marriage
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HarperCollins 2022
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A Recommended Read from: Good Morning America • Good Housekeeping • Esquire • Shondaland • Atlanta Journal-Constitution • The Week • Lit Hub • Publishers Weekly

An illuminating, poignant, and savagely funny examination of modern marriage from Ask Polly advice columnist Heather Havrilesky

If falling in love is the peak of human experience, then marriage is the slow descent down that mountain, on a trail built from conflict, compromise, and nagging doubts. Considering the limited economic advantages to marriage, the deluge of other mate options a swipe away, and the fact that almost half of all marriages in the United States end in divorce anyway, why do so many of us still chain ourselves to one human being for life?

In Foreverland, Heather Havrilesky illustrates the delights, aggravations, and sublime calamities of her marriage over the span of fifteen years, charting an unpredictable course from meeting her one true love to slowly learning just how much energy is required to keep that love aflame. This refreshingly honest portrait of a marriage reveals that our relationships are not simply "happy" or "unhappy," but something much murkier—at once unsavory, taxing, and deeply satisfying. With tales of fumbled proposals, harrowing suburban migrations, external temptations, and the bewildering insults of growing older, Foreverland is a work of rare candor and insight. Havrilesky traces a path from daydreaming about forever for the first time to understanding what a tedious, glorious drag forever can be.

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Street Date:
02/08/2022
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780062984494
ASIN:
B094JN8PVY
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APA Citation (style guide)

Heather Havrilesky. (2022). Foreverland: On the Divine Tedium of Marriage. HarperCollins.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Heather Havrilesky. 2022. Foreverland: On the Divine Tedium of Marriage. HarperCollins.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Heather Havrilesky, Foreverland: On the Divine Tedium of Marriage. HarperCollins, 2022.

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Heather Havrilesky. Foreverland: On the Divine Tedium of Marriage. HarperCollins, 2022. Web.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2010. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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        Heather Havrilesky writes the popular Ask Polly advice column on Substack and is the author of What If This Were Enough?, How to Be a Person in the World, and Disaster Preparedness. She has written for the New Yorker, the Atlantic, the New York Times Magazine, and NPR's All Things Considered, among others, and also maintains the Ask Molly newsletter, written by Polly's evil twin. She lives in Durham, North Carolina, with her husband, two daughters, and two dogs.

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A Recommended Read from: Good Morning America • Good Housekeeping • Esquire • Shondaland • Atlanta Journal-Constitution • The Week • Lit Hub • Publishers Weekly

An illuminating, poignant, and savagely funny examination of modern marriage from Ask Polly advice columnist Heather Havrilesky

If falling in love is the peak of human experience, then marriage is the slow descent down that mountain, on a trail built from conflict, compromise, and nagging doubts. Considering the limited economic advantages to marriage, the deluge of other mate options a swipe away, and the fact that almost half of all marriages in the United States end in divorce anyway, why do so many of us still chain ourselves to one human being for life?

In Foreverland, Heather Havrilesky illustrates the delights, aggravations, and sublime calamities of her marriage over the span of fifteen years, charting an unpredictable...

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title
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fullDescription

A Recommended Read from: Good Morning America • Good Housekeeping • Esquire • Shondaland • Atlanta Journal-Constitution • The Week • Lit Hub • Publishers Weekly

An illuminating, poignant, and savagely funny examination of modern marriage from Ask Polly advice columnist Heather Havrilesky

If falling in love is the peak of human experience, then marriage is the slow descent down that mountain, on a trail built from conflict, compromise, and nagging doubts. Considering the limited economic advantages to marriage, the deluge of other mate options a swipe away, and the fact that almost half of all marriages in the United States end in divorce anyway, why do so many of us still chain ourselves to one human being for life?

In Foreverland, Heather Havrilesky illustrates the delights, aggravations, and sublime calamities of her marriage over the span of fifteen years, charting an unpredictable course from meeting her one true love to slowly learning just how much energy is required to keep that love aflame. This refreshingly honest portrait of a marriage reveals that our relationships are not simply "happy" or "unhappy," but something much murkier—at once unsavory, taxing, and deeply satisfying. With tales of fumbled proposals, harrowing suburban migrations, external temptations, and the bewildering insults of growing older, Foreverland is a work of rare candor and insight. Havrilesky traces a path from daydreaming about forever for the first time to understanding what a tedious, glorious drag forever can be.

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      • premium: False
      • source: Jessica Grose, The New York Times
      • content:

        "One of the first honest, moving and funny portrayals of a solid marriage I have ever read." — Jessica Grose, The New York Times

        "This reads like a confession from a friend who has examined their own life through an intellectual and emotional lense — and comes out with some answers for us." — Good Morning America

        "In its own sardonic and skeptical fashion, "Foreverland" is a tender book, full of touching descriptions of falling and staying in love, even in the face of the profound frustrations." — The New Yorker

        "She walks the tightrope here, unflinching in her appraisal, indulgent in her praise... The book is a delight; it is a magic trick. It is also terrifically funny." — Southern Review of Books

        "Wise, witty, profane, even profound.... Her voice is so engaging, and her comic timing so impeccable, that she turns the "divine tedium" of her marriage into a rollicking adventure for her readers, too." — Associated Press

        "I instantly fell in love with Heather Havrilesky's new book Foreverland.... I deeply identified with her raw, real, and often hilarious take on motherhood, growing older, and the challenges of tethering yourself to another person." — InStyle Magazine

        "Funny, forthright.... In Foreverland, Havrilesky considers the ups and downs of married life, writing with candor about its undeviating dullness and surprising upsides .... Whether single or spoken for, readers are sure to fall for Havrilesky's charming memoir." — BookPage

        "Riveting, boots-on-the-ground reportage from the most common front line in humanity." — Chicago Tribune

        "Havrilesky's neurotic, self-deprecating sense of humor is always on display and adds a comedic twist on universal themes." — San Francisco Chronicle

        "Equal parts curiosity, humor and disarming candor, rejecting the platitudes with which so many of us (especially women) have long been bombarded.... At once a tribute to the joy of finding the one and the woes of putting up with them." — St. Louis Post-Dispatch

        "Filled with barbed humor and hilarious anecdotes drawn from her own marriage, it is a delightfully engaging love letter to matrimony that is both highly entertaining and profoundly insightful." — Atlanta Journal-Constitution

        "A beautifully honest exploration of marriage in all its intricacies." — Shondaland

        "Both married and unmarried audiences will find something to cherish in this book on what it means to have a good marriage, what a marriage is at all, and how to retain one's identity, as well as desires, in the face of binding yourself to another." — Literary Hub

        "Havrilesky's portrayal of the gritty underside of marriage is honest and searing." — Jacobin

        "Newlyweds, nearlyweds, and golden-anniversary celebrants alike will find much that is familiar, inspiring, and comforting in Havrilesky's clear-eyed paean to marital bliss and blunders." — Booklist (starred review)

        "Havrilesky's candid reflections will delight those who've taken the plunge, for better or for worse." — Publishers Weekly

        "Havrilesky successfully provides ample opportunities for readers to laugh, commiserate, and critique, regardless of their phase in life or marital status." — Library Journal

        "Heather Havrilesky's Foreverland is full of razor-sharp, big-hearted wisdom...

      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        October 25, 2021
        Havrilesky (What If This Were Enough?), New York magazine’s former advice columnist, considers the beauty and monotony of matrimony and family building in this deliciously sardonic memoir. While she writes movingly about her love for her husband, Bill, more poignant are her darkly funny ruminations on the way that “the world’s most impossible endurance challenge” can put even the strongest relationships on trial. “Being married is far more interesting than falling in love,” she writes. “Agony in a half-open, half-empty cereal box. Longing in a badly washed dish. Slow evolution, or a slow unraveling: it can be hard to tell which.” With acerbic humor and keen wit, Havrilesky explores the complicated emotions associated with major milestones in her life—describing the decision to get married as “a culmination of every wrongheaded notion you’ve ever had” and her baby’s birth by C-section as “rummage around in my open belly like... a cabinet jam-packed with heavy sports equipment.” No matter the joke or metaphor, palpable within each story is her love for her family—including her “snoring heap of meat” husband—and the friends who’ve helped her along the way. Havrilesky’s candid reflections will delight those who’ve taken the plunge, for better or for worse. Agent: Sarah Burnes, the Gernert Co.

      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        November 15, 2021
        The author and longtime New York Magazine "Ask Polly" advice columnist trains her incisive eye on her own marriage. "I'm old and you're old and nothing new is ever going to happen to us!" Havrilesky tells her husband, Bill, late in the book. "We'll just get older and older and everything will stay exactly the same until we're dead." She shares this pessimistic and yet relatable sentiment after recounting a mild attempt at an extramarital flirtation that went awry, a development that was surprisingly crushing to her. The "tedium" in the subtitle is part of what fuels Havrilesky's ambivalence toward the project of marriage--that and the fact that "even after years of careful training, a spouse will still do whatever a spouse feels like doing." In Bill's case that means making unappealing noises, interrupting, and wearing golf shirts, "perhaps the least attractive article of clothing available to humankind." The author takes readers through the relationship chronologically, beginning with the honeymoon phase, in which she and Bill had copious amounts of sex and watched a lot of TV. Then it's on to marriage and the births of their children, which prompted their questionable decision to move to the suburbs in order to avoid the "progressive elites" in their Los Angeles neighborhood. Alongside her chronicle, the author offers running commentary on how the marriage has adapted--or failed to adapt--to life's vicissitudes. For her part, Havrilesky honestly serves up her own flaws for the reader's perusal; for example, she describes herself as a "wise guru type who knows everything about everything...about as appealing a mate as Jabba the Hutt." Meanwhile, Bill comes off quite well, though the author describes his annoying habits in perhaps too much detail. There are times when Havrilesky's interest in writing ambitious prose or making a metaphor work get in the way of her narrative, but overall, this is a delightfully quirky memoir that refreshingly dissects the institution of marriage. An engaging, candid, relatable memoir of love and marriage.

        COPYRIGHT(2021) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        November 1, 2021
        "I was a tree struck by his lightning." One might expect to read this in a romance novel. But Havrilesky wrote it to describe her feelings after her soon-to-be husband selflessly protected their dog from a vicious attack, and it becomes a transcendent if recognizable kind of truth--that one can love someone without liking them all the time. Now 13 years, two children, one step-child, and several dogs into their marriage, Havrilesky analyzes how she and her husband, Bill, have managed not only to survive but to thrive in an institution that can all too often leach joy before the first glass of wedding-reception champagne is downed. Love is messy, love is mean, love is tolerating bodily noises and mental malfunctions, but as a popular advice columnist and journalist, Havrilesky knows that if love is anything, it is also tolerant and grateful, sexy and companionable. Most of all, it is a state not to be taken for granted. Newlyweds, nearlyweds, and golden-anniversary celebrants alike will find much that is familiar, inspiring, and comforting in Havrilesky's clear-eyed paean to marital bliss and blunders.

        COPYRIGHT(2021) Booklist, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        December 1, 2021

        In a world where marriage is often presented as either a problem or a solution, "Ask Polly" advice columnist Havrilesky (How To Be a Person in the World) drives home the point that such binary oppositions are fictions--as irrelevant and dangerous as the happily-ever-after stories of Disney princesses. In wittily titled chapters that foreground the tension between expectation and reality, Havrilesky takes readers through her own experiences of "tedium" and the divine, while also opening up broader issues annexed to the institution of marriage and its measurements of success. She recounts meeting her husband, describes the complexities of falling in love, and asks why American society tends to fixate on the concept of love. The book explores rom-coms, romance novels, and the author's experience as an advice columnist, where she answers difficult questions relating to marriage and divorce, love and loss. Havrilesky is at her best when considering the idea of romance and the pressure to become overinvested in marriage and parenting at the expense of one's own well-being. VERDICT Havrilesky successfully provides ample opportunities for readers to laugh, commiserate, and critique, regardless of their phase in life or marital status. A welcome addition to memoir and women's studies collections.--Emily Bowles, Lawrence Univ., WI

        Copyright 2021 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

subtitle
On the Divine Tedium of Marriage
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