A dramatic portrait of the dissolution of a marriage, written with brutal and lyrical precision, and nominated for the Nordic Prize.
Jon, who is losing his wife to another man, is trying to understand what happened to his Great Love, by working, painfully, to see the story from her perspective. It begins as he asks her: “Can you tell me about us?” As he looks to his past and within himself, he begins to question the conventions of masculinity and femininity, understanding himself uncommonly as a man who challenges the male role–he’s deeply embedded in family life, and identifies as sensitive, vulnerable, and nurturing. And finally, in an effort to understand how his wife could fall in love with someone else, he attempts an ultimate act of empathy: to tell the story from the other man’s point of view, raising crippling questions: Is it possible to have sex without violating oneself or the other? How much of what we think is love is only projection? Is it possible to truly know another person?
With prose unsettling in its precision and emotional heft, The Story of a Marriage cracks wide open the familiar story of a failed love, as it turns cliched phrases over and over again until they crumble, revealing a bitter hollowness–or ringing new meanings.