Wednesday, February 04, 2009

The Mysterious Life of the Heart, II

My author-copy of The Mysterious Life of the Heart should arrive by the end of the week.


Here is part of the intro and the full table of contents:


Love is a house with many rooms, and The Mysterious Life of the Heart explores only one of them: not a child’s love for a parent or a parent’s love for a child or love between siblings or love between friends. It’s about the room upstairs at the end of the hall, shared by two lovers who’ve decided to stay — for a weekend or forever, no one can say. Sometimes they kiss, sometimes they bite. They dream they’re in heaven. They swear they’re in hell. That room.

The sheer volume of writing on this subject that’s appeared in The Sun made it difficult to decide what to include. Choosing fifty essays, short stories, and poems out of the hundreds we considered might have been easier if we hadn’t already fallen in love with and published them all. So we set to work reading and rereading, Venus sitting on one shoulder and Mars perched on the other, and when we finally finished making our choices, what did we end up with? Exactly twenty-five works by men and twenty-five by women. Well, how about that! We’d hit the bull’s-eye without even trying.

This isn’t a book in which you’ll find the seven steps to connubial bliss, with exercises at the end of each chapter to simultaneously tighten your buttocks and open your third eye. But that doesn’t mean the stories, essays, and poems are randomly arranged. Instead, we follow a winding, sometimes treacherous path from the innocence and impetuousness of young love through marriage and devotion, temptation and betrayal, divorce and heartbreak, and finally forgiveness and mercy. When read from front to back, The Mysterious Life of the Heart is a journey worth taking. (Naturally, you’re free to ignore our counsel, begin reading anywhere, and jump from piece to piece, just as you’re free to throw caution to the wind and jump into bed with the next attractive person you meet. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.)


Sy Safransky
Editor and publisher

Table of Contents

Ecstasy
a short story by Steve Almond
How Far Did You Get? poetry by Christopher Bursk
Foreclosure Doug Crandell
Beach Boy Heather King
Still Life With Candles And Spanish Guitar a short story by Kirk Nesset Alone With Love Songs poetry by Edwin Romond
I Will Soon Be Married a short story by John Tait
The Leap poetry by Larry Colker
The Woman With Hair a short story by Robert McGee
The Boy With Blue Hair Cheryl Strayed
Evening Voices poetry by Jeff Walt
Ten Things a short story by Leslie Pietrzyk
My Fat Lover Leah Truth
Blue Velvis a short story by Theresa Williams
Box Step poetry by Todd James Pierce
Au Revoir, Pleasant Dreams Rosemary Berkeley
An Hour After Breakfast poetry by Matthew Deshe Cashion
The Empty House Of My Brokenhearted Father a short story by Poe Ballantine
Greed poetry by Kathryn Hunt
Suzy Joins The Sex Club a short story by Alison Clement
On Catching My Husband With A Cigarette After Seven Years Of Abstinence poetry by Patry Francis
Small Things a short story by Suniti Landgé
Her Shoes poetry by Alison Seevak
And Passion Most Of All Michelle Cacho-Negrete
Prayer For Your Wife poetry by Kathleen Lake
Everything I Thought Would Happen Ashley Walker
Self-Storage poetry by Lee Rossi
The Kitchen Table: An Honest Orgy Denise Gess
Marriage poetry by Lou Lipsitz
My Marital Status James Kullander
The Song Of Forgiveness Genie Zeiger
Bleeding Dharma Stephen T. Butterfield
Committed Relationships poetry by Eric Anderson
The Year In Geese a short story by Rita Townsend
Smashing The Plates poetry by Alison Luterman
Finding A Good Man Jasmine Skye
Eight Love Poems poetry by Sparrow
The Date Brenda Miller
The Word a short story by Robley Wilson
Under The Apple Tree a short story by Laura Pritchett
I Am Not A Sex Goddess Lois Judson
Blowing It In Idaho Stephen J. Lyons
The Woman In Question Tom Ireland
This Day poetry by John Hodgen
My Accidental Jihad Krista Bremer
The Stranger poetry by Michael Hettich
Blue Flamingo Looks At Red Water a short story by Katherine Vaz
Sixteenth Anniversary poetry by Tess Gallagher
Green a short story by Colin Chisholm
Hello, Gorgeous! a short story by Bruce Holland Rogers

2 comments:

Erin said...

Congratulations! This book looks amazing. :)

alphawoman said...

Wow!! I'll see if I can get my libratry to purchase it, if they have not already!

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"I was no better than dust, yet you cannot replace me. . . Take the soft dust in your hand--does it stir: does it sing? Has it lips and a heart? Does it open its eyes to the sun? Does it run, does it dream, does it burn with a secret, or tremble In terror of death? Or ache with tremendous decisions?. . ." --Conrad Aiken

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The Secret of Hurricanes : That article in the Waterville Scout said it was Shake- spearean, all that fatalism that guides the Kennedys' lives. The likelihood of untimely death. Recently, another one died in his prime, John-John in an airplane. Not long before that, Bobby's boy. While playing football at high speeds on snow skis. Those Kennedys take some crazy chances. I prefer my own easy ways. Which isn't to say my life hasn't been Shake-spearean. By the time I was sixteen, my life was like the darkened stage at the end of Hamlet or Macbeth. All littered with corpses and treachery.

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