The best part? 7 Told Stories from Two Members of a Couple ‹ Literary Hub

In my journal, The End of Loss, I tell the story of a young couple, Gina and Duncan, on a European honeymoon that turns out not to be what it seems. As the story immerses us in their complex story, built with romantic imagination, shared dreams, corruption, and deep deception, we move, with each chapter, between the thought Gina and Duncan. The choice to change the voices in this way allowed me to show the power and limits of their relationship, to show the convergences and differences of their ideas, and to show the divisions. of each hidden from the other.

In writing, I was interested in other stories that differ between the voices of the members in a couple, this is more than a tool: where to look at one of the important thing about lonely people. Know one, or be known? How about connecting to another living soul that we can truly come to?

Not surprisingly, some amazing authors have taken up this question and this list is getting longer. Here’s a sample of those stories that really resonated with me.


Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina
(Penguin Classics, trans. Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky)

Anna Karenina There are many ideas, but the center of this story is the difference between two sets of lovers. On a positive note, the wide separation between Anna and Vronsky, and the constant change of scene between Kitty and Levin is more pragmatic, seen in the famous picture where he asked Levin to Kitty using the only abstract words he could describe. . For all that this story is intended as a memoir, its true power comes from Anna’s search for transcendent love, and her humiliation of a man limited by society. established and established it. Tolstoy doesn’t need an introduction, but I couldn’t write this list without including the story that first made me think deeply about the ways love can save us and destroy us. to us.

Baby Tar

Toni Morrison, Baby Tar

Both poetic and literary, Morrison’s story is about a woman’s desire to find freedom and love – but with issues of class, gender and race that complicate her struggle. . Morrison’s name refers to a popular southern story in which a rabbit was caught using a doll made of wood. For Morrison, this story becomes a metaphor for (among other things) the connection of love, and true human connection – which he explores through the adventures of the Street and Childs families, led by a white clothier. This is a world built on gratuitous temptation. As the protagonists, Jadine and Son, run to find freedom only to find themselves in their own cultures and conflicting themes, we are left to wonder how much their love is never finished by the skin of their flesh. .

Tayari Jones, An American Wedding

Taylor Jones, An American wedding
(Algonquin Book)

American Marriage is the story of a couple torn apart by a pattern of racial injustice, but the story goes on to explore the otherworldly forces that can destroy relationships in our culture. of the present, with the forces of little pessimism and the temptations of success. . Among the provocative themes presented is the way Celestial, as an artist, honors and uses her husband’s pain in her work – an opportunity to connect the author and express the feeling think in private debate. In some ways, this difficult and beautiful story harkens back to Anna Karenina in showing how society’s injustices pave the way for our personal betrayal.

Fates and Furies

Lauren Groff, Fates and Furies
(Riverhead Book)

Groff’s story is one of the inspirations for my own: an uplifting work that shows the success of two lives intertwined in love and marriage. The separation of stories, and the many ways in which the two views reveal deep gaps in understanding, lead one to a sense of loneliness of knowledge, but with the ability to provide the kindness and sacrifice as comfort. Groff’s story, like Jones’, brings the idea of ​​art front and center, and reminds me of one of my favorite stories by Henry James, “The Tree of Knowledge,” a beautiful illustration of the ways in which to loved ones who support—and deceive.


Julian Barnes, Conversation

Barnes is known as a postmodernist writer whose writing defies the notions of true history – and what history is more intimate, more contradictory and contradictory, than which is told by different members of the love triangle, each one, in other words, speaking for its own purpose. -right? In this story, where two best friends fall in love with the same woman, roles and loyalties are constantly shifting, making us wonder where the true love of this story lies. That is, if we can talk about true love in a story that is so determined to show us how our love – and our stories – will be inspired by deception.

Pages for it

Sylvia Brownrigg, Pages for it
(Opposite Press)

Where Barnes begins to explore heterosexual love between men, Pages For Him dedicates itself to the love and friendship between the two women. The story follows Brownrigg’s Pages for you, in which the young Flannery falls in love with his old teacher, Anne—a relationship that opens Flannery not only to sexual desire, but to other things—including writing—in himself. 20 years later, in which more history has been brought to the story, Flannery’s greatness seems to have waned. Although the story revolves around the two women’s feelings, Flannery seems to be talking to her younger, more passionate self. Here, unlike those works where creativity and love stand, in Pages For Her, as the name suggests, the fire of love awakens the desire to work.


Dale Peck, The law of fences
(Soho Press)

Like Brownrigg’s story, Peck prefers love over time as a subject, drawing a contrast between the joyous love of youth and the heartaches of later life. Peck’s story is broken into parts: the first shows the young love of Henry and Beatrice from each other’s point of view, the second abandons the main story to follow a story autobiographical account of Peck’s troubled childhood – marked by marital strife – and the third. returning to Henry and Beatrice, now fighting, after 40 years of marriage. It’s as if Peck is asking us to put the pieces together, and build our own story from flashbacks that only partially explain how the happy couple became the character. The story reminds us that so much of life, from birth to old age, is about coming to terms with the tragedies that have happened before.


The End of Loss

Robin Kirman’s novel The End of Loss available now through Simon & Schuster.

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