Sunday, October 28, 2012

A Memoir of Grief

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING AUTHOR JENNIFER WEINER RELEASES


HALLOWEEN-INSPIRED SHORT STORY E-BOOK: “A MEMOIR OF GRIEF (CONTINUED)”

October 28, 2012, New York, New York --- This fall, #1 New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Weiner is spooking readers with her latest work, an eerie tale entitled A Memoir of Grief (Continued) (Atria Books, ebook; $0.99), available for pre-order now on: Amazon.com, Apple iBooks, BarnesandNoble.com, and Simon & Schuster. A Memoir of Grief (Continued) continues in the now-annual tradition of Jennifer’s Halloween short stories, following last year’s bestselling Recalculating.

Artists have their appetites. This is what Ellie King would tell herself when discovering lacy panties in the backseat of her husband Gerry’s Cadillac, when Gerry was too self-involved to embrace their only son, or when he insisted on summers in the Hamptons and bespoke suits from London when, in fact, as critics pointed out, his once thriving writing career was past its prime, and they were buried in debt.

Yet, Ellie tried her best to portray the charmed, whimsical life she had dreamt of since her days as an English major at Wellesley College -- the kind of life a sophisticated literary couple should be leading: chauffeured soirees, nostalgic trips to Europe, cozy evenings filled with cups of strong black espresso. The skeletons that Gerry King harbored in his closet were known by only one other person: Ellie. And she wanted to keep it this way. She had given up everything for him.

However, when Gerry dies of cancer, he leaves something behind that would expose all of their dirty secrets; something that would jeopardize the mask that Ellie worked so hard to front. And when it gets into the wrong hands, Ellie is forced to do the unthinkable…

In A Memoir of Grief (Continued), Jennifer Weiner exposes a woman’s world of shattered dreams and raises an intriguing question: How far would you go to protect your pride?

Jennifer Weiner was voted #14 on Time magazine's list of "140 Best Twitter Feeds." Placing hers among the feeds that are “shaping the conversation,” the magazine celebrated her "must-read" live Bachelor tweets, noting that "rarely has there been such an ideal pairing of material and writer." This past summer, she live-tweeted "The Bachelor" for Entertainment Weekly's more than two million followers. She continues to write for the Huffington Post and on her own blog at www.jenniferweiner.com, which now has over 1.5 million visitors a month. She can also be found on Facebook, and, in real life, Philadelphia, where she lives with her family. She is currently working on a non-fiction collection of essays.

Excerpt


She’s never looked better,” Peter Schmidt said to his boy of the moment, from a corner of the kitchen.
Ellie was in the hallway, her little dog Duncan trotting briskly at her heels, two trash bags in her hands, filled with the leavings of her husband’s memorial party: empty tinfoil trays that had once held kugel and lasagna,
miniature bagels, whitefish salad, lox. She shouldn’t have been able to hear anything from the kitchen, but, after forty years in their apartment—my apartment, her mind amended; even with Gerald six weeks gone she found herself continually working to remember that the apartment on the Upper East Side, with its spacious living room that overlooked the park and its dingy kitchen that overlooked an air shaft, was her apartment now, or would be, for as long as she could afford it—she knew the acoustics well. There were corners of the living room where you could hear everything in the guest bedroom; from the master bathroom you could listen in on every word uttered in the front hall.

“Death becomes her?” That was Peter’s boy—or rather the boy Peter was chasing, a literary agent named Simms Downing, slim-hipped and graceful, his hair in a neat ponytail and his eyes dark as river-wet granite stones, all of twenty-seven to Peter’s sixty-two. People had known exactly what was going on after Peter, the editor of Paradigm Press, whose longtime companion of thirty years had died of a heart attack the year before—had started paying six-figure advances for every proposal the handsome young agent had brought him, including a collection of free-verse poetry and cocktail napkin doodles by the not-famous bass player in a once-famous band.

Ellie and Gerry had been friends with Peter and his husband Michael, an eternally cheerful middle school history teacher whose real job, like Ellie’s, was taking care of his brilliant, difficult husband. One morning a year after Michael had died, Ellie and Gerry were picking up Gerry’s usual bagels and a cake to serve after dinner, when she’d seen Peter and Simms at Sarabeth’s, huddled over maps of the fifth arrondissement, and she’d known, from the way Peter’s eyes followed Simms’s hands as they moved through the air, the way he devoured the sight of Simms lifting his coffee cup to his lips, that Peter was in love . . . and Simms wasn’t. He’s playing you, she’d wanted to whisper into Peter’s wrinkled, age-spotted ear, from which a tuft of hair white as St. Nick’s beard protruded . . . but would he listen? Did people in love ever listen? God knows she hadn’t when she’d fallen for Gerry, when she’d been a curvy, buxom senior at Wellesley, with a cloud of inky-black curls that she wore piled on top of her head. Gerry, who’d published an acclaimed short story collection and was putting the finishing touches on his novel, had come to teach a three-week semester in Cambridge, and Ellie was wild to be admitted, to sit at the great man’s feet.



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