Flash Fiction: for writers, readers, editors, publishers, & fans

Monday

MLT E book cover FINAL.bmpI’m still not sure how I feel about the whole elec­tronic book phe­nom­e­non (which is likely here to stay), but I can­not think of a bet­ter book to have begun my e-book jour­ney with than Mary Tabor’s soon-to-be-released (Re) Mak­ing Love: A Sex After Sixty Story (3ones, Inc.). This book began as a blog–yes it did! This will be Mary Tabor’s sec­ond book; her first, The Woman Who Never Cooked, is an award-win­ning col­lec­tion of linked short sto­ries.


(Re) Mak­ing Love: A Sex After Sixty Story is a mem­oir about loss and love, as well as a jour­ney for both Mary and her hus­band “D” as they try to maneu­ver through the mud­di­ness of a sep­a­ra­tion. It is at times laugh-out-loud hys­ter­i­cal. At other times, it is sad and speaks of des­per­a­tion. Above all, it is hon­est and so incred­i­bly inti­mate, which makes it feel funny to call her Mary Tabor, Ms. Tabor, or even the author. Any of those sound too for­mal because I feel as if I have sat with Mary in the “chef’s kitchen” she so often ref­er­ences, strolled the streets of Paris along side her, cried with her over the inabil­ity to cram a life­time of mem­o­ries into a stor­age-lack­ing flat, or pon­dered right along with her about unful­filled desire.

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Mary writes in free flow­ing beau­ti­ful prose. She tells her story in a non-lin­ear fash­ion, drop­ping in bits and pieces of the real world, lit­er­a­ture, includ­ing a lit­tle T.S. Eliot, a few favorite recipes, occa­sional links, some pho­tographs, and a num­ber of ref­er­ences to her beloved Rom-Coms (roman­tic come­dies). She draws par­al­lels to the Frog Prince among other fairy tales and thinks often about the Oba­mas. And while that may seem a tad too eclec­tic, all I can say, is that it all works. Noth­ing is out of place. Mary has woven her pain, her desire, and her under­stand­ing into a lovely story well worth read­ing.

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Whether you have suf­fered through a sep­a­ra­tion or not, please make the time to spend a week­end with Mary and D. Her hon­esty is refresh­ing, witty, and full of inti­mate wis­dom. There are lessons for all of us. I’ll leave you with this quote from (Re) Mak­ing Love: A Sex After Sixty Story: “But I will not ‘reach absolute zero’ in the telling, let alone in my under­stand­ing of why he left me.”

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Editor’s Note: Check in tomor­row for Anne’s inter­view of Mary!

About the Author

FlashWriterWillkomm.jpgAnne Con­verse Willkomm began writ­ing shortly after the death of her mother. In 2004, she was named a semi-final­ist in the William Faulkner Cre­ative Writ­ing Com­pe­ti­tion Novel-in-Pro­gress cat­e­gory for her fic­tion­al­ized account of her mother’s life. Later in 2006, the com­pleted man­u­script Unfin­ished Busi­ness was also named a semi-final­ist. Her work has appeared in Sibyl Mag­a­zine and in the anthol­ogy Mem­oirs of Mean­ness. She has just com­pleted a novel, Promises We Keep, set in Boston and the Appalachian Moun­tains. She is cur­rently work­ing on a YA adven­ture novel deal­ing with grief, The Gift. Also, Anne has writ­ten a full-length play chron­i­cling the dev­as­tat­ing effects of Alzheimer’s–Declin­ing. She lives in Bryn Mawr with her hus­band, three chil­dren, their dog, and two cats.

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One comment

From Phil

Anne’s done a great job review­ing this book, and as some­one who read the blog as it was unfold­ing, I fully con­cur. What’s so stir­ring about Mary’s work can be seen right in her note here above mine. Unlike most authors who con­struct char­ac­ters and plot before really get­ting to task, Mary made her­self com­pletely open and vul­ner­a­ble, took risk after risk in shar­ing the truth in all of its fan­tas­ti­cal twists, and exam­ined what was really going on in her life and her mind and heart, with a writer’s tal­ents. She chose a topic of some mar­ketable inter­est, Sex After Sixty, but Mary writes more about self-exam­i­na­tion and rela­tion­ships, allow­ing both the attrac­tive and awk­ward aspects of her life to come through, mak­ing her story tran­scen­dant and con­nected to ours. The story arc here is more about the way per­sonal growth and evolv­ing insight really oper­ates than it is about hook­ing the audi­ence and deliv­er­ing the expected pay­off. So much like lov­ing goes, and Mary indeed loves here. 

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