relationship

In The All-Or-Nothing MarriageHow The Best Marriages Work, renowned relationship expert and Northwestern University professor, Eli Finkel shows that the best marriages today are better than the best marriages of earlier eras. In fact, they are the best marriages the world has ever known.

Finkel reverse engineers the best marriages to better understand the new modern marriage, and shows how any marriage can be better. What does a modern marriage look like? And how can today’s couples seek personal fulfillment in a marriage while remaining committed to it for the long run?

Finkel first introduced this idea in a popular 2014 New York Times op-ed of the same name. Divorce rates may be down from their 1980s peak, but so is general marital happiness, which is what Finkel’s “All-or-Nothing” theory can change in a big way.  

Mark Lukach is a teacher and freelance writer. His work has been published in the New York Times, The Atlantic, Pacific Standard, Wired, and other publications. He is currently the ninth grade dean at The Athenian School, where he also teaches history.

Mark and Giulia’s life together began as a storybook romance. They fell in love at eighteen, married at twenty-four, and were living their dream life in San Francisco. When Giulia was twenty-seven, she suffered a terrifying and unexpected psychotic break that landed her in the psych ward for nearly a month. One day she was vibrant and well-adjusted; the next she was delusional and suicidal, convinced that her loved ones were not safe.

Mark recounts their experience in My Lovely Wife in the Psych Ward: A Memoir.


  This Thursday at 4 p.m., The Mount in Lenox, Massachusetts presents Women Writing Through Loss: Connecting Through Calamity featuring Dr. Lucy Kalanithi, Rebecca Soffer, and Emily Rapp Black as they read from their work and discuss the power of connection as friends, as writers, as mothers, and as women who forged powerful friendships after experiencing great personal loss, and writing their way out of it.

 

Rebecca Soffer joined us to tell us more.


  The new film, The Lovers, stars Debra Winger as Mary and Tracy Letts as Michael -- a married couple with a son in college who are just about to leave each other after engaging in long-term affairs; she with a writer played by Aidan Gillen (of Game of Thrones) and he with a ballet dancer and instructor played by Melora Walters (memorably from Paul Thomas Anderson’s Magnolia). As their extracurricular partners pressure Mary and Michael to leave the marriage and commit to them, a spark is rekindled and they are reverse cheating with each other. So how does that work out? Well, that’s the movie.

 

The Lovers is screening in theaters all around our region and was written and directed by Azazel Jacobs who joins us now. Jacobs co-wrote and directed the 2011 film, Terri starring John C. Reilly and the HBO series, Doll & Em with Emily Mortimer and Dolly Wells.

Photograph of a portion of Tanja Hollander's "Are You Really My Friend?" at MASS MoCA
MASS MoCA's Instagram


  How often do you get a friend request on Facebook from someone whose name you don’t recognize? You have mutual friends. You check those names -- and then you aren’t sure exactly who some of those people are either - or how you know them. Imagine telling someone 15 years ago that you have friends you don’t know -- and not in that “a stranger is a just a friend you haven’t met yet” optimistic way.

Tanja Hollander’s new exhibition Are You Really My Friend? is currently on view at MASS MoCA in North Adams, MA. The show explores, through portraits and paraphernalia, what friendship means to Tanja and what friendship means today - in the age of social media and easy surface relationships. She set out to connect with and photograph her 626 Facebook friends.

I spoke with Tanja and curator Denise Markonish at the museum recently and began by asking Tanja when and where she had the idea for the project.

  Augusten Burroughs is the author of such best-selling autobiographical works as Running with Scissors, Dry, and Magical Thinking.

His latest is called Lust & Wonder in which he chronicles the development and demise of the different relationships he's had while living in New York, he examines what it means to be in love, what it means to be in lust, and what it means to be figuring it out.

  Most people think of love and contracts as strange bedfellows, or even opposites. In Love’s Promises, however, law professor Martha Ertman shows that far from cold and calculating, contracts shape and sustain families.

Blending memoir and law, Ertman delves into the legal cases, anecdotes, and history of family law to show that love comes in different packages, each shaped by different contracts and mini-contracts she calls “deals.”

  Nearly twenty-five years ago, Nicholson Baker published U and I, the fretful and handwringing—but also groundbreaking—tale of his literary relationship with John Updike.

U and I inspired a whole sub-genre of engaging, entertaining writing about reading, but what no story of this type has ever done is tell its tale from the moment of conception, that moment when you realize that there is a writer out there in the world that you must read—so you read them.

B & Me is that story, the story of J.C. Hallman discovering and reading Nicholson Baker, and discovering himself in the process.