The Friend Who Got Away by Jenny Offill
Twenty Women's True Life Tales of Friendships that Blew Up, Burned Out or Faded Away

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Synopsis

Losing a friend can be as painful and as agonizing as a divorce or the end of a love affair, yet it is rarely written about or even discussed. THE FRIEND WHO GOT AWAY is the first book to address this near-universal experience, bringing together the brave, eloquent voices of writers like Francine Prose, Katie Roiphe, Dorothy Allison, Elizabeth Strout, Ann Hood, Diana Abu Jabar, Vivian Gornick, Helen Schulman, and many others. Some write of friends who have drifted away, others of sudden breakups that took them by surprise. Some even celebrate their liberation from unhealthy or destructive relationships. Yet at the heart of each story is the recognition of a loss that will never be forgotten.

From stories about friendships that dissolved when one person revealed a hidden self or moved into a different world, to tales of relationships sabotaged by competition, personal ambition, or careless indifference, THE FRIEND WHO GOT AWAY casts new light on the meaning and nature of women’s friendships. Katie Roiphe writes with regret about the period in her life when even close friends seemed expendable compared to men and sex. Mary Morris reveals how a loan led to the unraveling of a lifelong friendship. Vivian Gornick explores how intellectual differences eroded the bond between once inseparable companions. And two contributors, once best friends, tell both sides of the story that led to their painful breakup.

Written especially for this anthology and touched with humor, sadness, and sometimes anger, these extraordinary pieces simultaneously evoke the uniqueness of each situation and illuminate the universal emotions evoked by the loss of a friend.
 

About Jenny Offill

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JENNY OFFILL is the author of an adult book, Last Things, hailed as "a beautiful debut novel" by Newsweek, and the coeditor (with Elissa Schappell) of The Friend Who Got Away: Twenty Women's True-Life Tales of Friendships That Blew Up, Burned Out or Faded Away. She has also written the picture book 17 Things I'm Not Allowed to Do Anymore. Ms. Offill lives in Brooklyn, New York. NANCY CARPENTER is the illustrator of 17 Things I'm Not Allowed to Do Anymore by Jenny Offill, called "picture-perfect" in a starred review by School Libary Journal; Imogene's Last Stand by Candace Fleming; Apples to Oregon, an ALA-ALSC Notable Children's Book, and Fannie in the Kitchen, both by Deborah Hopkinson; Sitti's Secrets by Naomi Shihab Nye, winner of the Jane Addams Picture Book Award; and Masai and I by Virginia Kroll. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.
 
Published December 18, 2007 by Broadway Books. 322 pages
Genres: Health, Fitness & Dieting, Parenting & Relationships, Self Help. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Friend Who Got Away

Kirkus Reviews

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Nicole Keeter contributes a luminous essay about being the first black girl in a small town in Iowa and the friendship that developed between her and Gina, another African American who came to town a few years later.

Feb 01 2005 | Read Full Review of The Friend Who Got Away: Twen...

The New York Times

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The Abel and Chenoweth essays are so obviously winning it's surprising this book didn't turn into an anthology of companion essays subtitled ''Twenty Women Tell Their Sides of the Story: You Be the Judge.'' The results, though, would probably be the same each time: both writers would plead their ...

May 22 2005 | Read Full Review of The Friend Who Got Away: Twen...

Publishers Weekly

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Others evoke friendships from college and adulthood, such as Heather Abel and PW Forecasts editor Emily Chenoweth, who, in separate essays, delve into the circumstances that led to their friendship and its demise.

Feb 07 2005 | Read Full Review of The Friend Who Got Away: Twen...

Book Reporter

However, as much as I enjoyed THE FRIEND WHO GOT AWAY, I couldn't help but notice that tale after tale of loss can make for a downbeat reading experience.

Jan 22 2011 | Read Full Review of The Friend Who Got Away: Twen...

News Review.

Novels and films are full of stories of romance gone bad: Breaking up is hard to do, and most people can identify.

Jun 09 2005 | Read Full Review of The Friend Who Got Away: Twen...

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