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The Other Woman: Twenty-one Wives, Lovers, and Others Talk Openly About Sex, Deception, Love, and Betrayal


From some of America's top writers comes a groundbreaking, compulsively readable and bestselling anthology about that taboo subject -- women who steal husbands and lovers from other women, the consequences for those left behind, and the impact made by the vixen, the Lorelei, the Jezebel ... the bitch ... on families and our futures.


June issue

Invite the bitch to dinner" is one wickedly brash survival strategy in The Other Woman: 21 Wives, Lovers, and Others Talk Openly About Sex, Deception, Love, and Betrayal, edited by Victoria Zackheim. Among the star turns in this unusually frank and furious collection of essays are Pam Houston's "Not Istanbul," a hypothetical journey into an impossibly complicated relations ("Here's the thing about the other woman. She lives inside your head") and Connie May Fowler's "The Uterine Blues," a savory bit of rancor from a woman scorned.

The Other Woman
Edited By Victoria Zackheim
Warner, $24.99 (276p)
ISBN 978-0-446-58022-9

The Other Woman may be a topic of eternally prurient interest, but the main attraction of this strong collection of 21 personal essays is the top-drawer writers... Narrated from the point of view of the marriage wrecker or that of the wife who suffers the anguish of triangulation in a trusting relationship, these tales drip with the bitterness of experience... The anthology features tales from women of all ages, lesbians and women who have been abused physically: it is a candid and truly fascinating look at how men and women love and hurt.


Cheating hearts; Essays examine the pain and suffering the modern-day mistress injects into relationships
Candace Fertile

Pain, pain, pain. That's what the essays in The Other Woman have in common. Relentless, heart-searing pain. Occasionally moments of joy punch through the walls of despair, but overall this collection indicates that being the other woman or having to deal with another woman is hurtful on numerous levels. These essays explore a range of experiences. The other woman is frequently vilified, even by herself, and these essays are quite an eye-opener. Sometimes, the other woman is a victim...The other woman herself often becomes one in a series. Love and lust are complicated, and this collection shows that human beings are flawed, often behave badly, suffer, and can learn from their mistakes. All of the women in this book are writers, some famous, such as Jane Smiley and Pam Houston. The essays are all competent and moving, and some are infuriating.

Dianne Rinehart
It hurts to cheat in love
Women will do anything for love.
That much is clear in Victoria Zackheim's revealing—and riveting—collection
of female-authored essays in The Other Woman. What isn't as clear is the answer to the question: Why? And even more so—as we get to know the men beloved by these wives and lovers—why with this lot, none of whom comes across as the charismatic Cary Grant in An Affair to Remember, but rather as cads, really, who lie as easily and as often to their lovers as to their wives, betraying them not only to each other, but with Other Other Women. The power behind Zackheim's collection is in the rich, multifaceted perspectives
that can make us feel as sorry for the Other Woman (or at least pity her) as for the wife, though not...sorry for the philandering husband. There are bitter lessons in this book, too, for TOW. Zackheim's collection is both piercingly analytical—none of these women hides her faults or humiliations—and timely, arriving when we are apparently fixated
on the Other Woman. Written by top writers, these modern tales from the marriage crypt are grippingly paced and rich with social analysis and insight...

When we think of ‘the other woman,’ thoughts run from a harpy to a home wrecker, from a scheming Jezebel to a heartless predator. After all, she’s the woman who seduces husbands and often hopes to replace the loving wife. In the introduction of The Other Woman, editor Victoria Zackheim asks, Who is this creature who arrives like a wrecking ball to devastate our lives and our families? Girls grow up primping and dieting to defend against her; boys grow up developing their pecs and abs to be enticed by her. And yet who among us has intentionally brought up our precious daughters to become her? It’s too easy to lump ‘the other woman’ into one neat little description. While it’s true that she often has the power “to throw a wrench into our relationships and, quite often, bring the entire mechanism to a grinding halt,” she has also been known to drive wives and girlfriends to a new-found sense of power. However, the one element that is a uniting force of these essays is deception...All of the essays in this anthology are unforgettable. They are honest, revealing, and offer a glimpse into the lives of some of this country’s finest authors. The result is a collection that reads more like a page-turning novel. When you catch your breath and remember that all of these stories are true, you’ll be touched by the willingness of these women to let you in on their secrets. Sometimes painful, other times funny, always wise—this is a wonderful book.