Elevate Difference

Reviews tagged marriage

Marriage and Modernity: Family Values in Colonial Bengal

Rochona Majumdar's firmest statement in Marriage and Modernity: Family Values in Colonial Bengal is that the Western conception of arranged marriage is dated. The portrayal of arranged marriage as immoral suited the Western sense of superiority over the “Hindoos,” despite the fact that Western courtship was riddled with its own problems. Arranged marriage is obviously the creation of a certain cultural condition and sought to fulfill certain perceived needs.

Mating Ritual of the North American WASP

spoiler alert At its core, Mating Rituals of the North American WASP is wholly typical. Girl goes to Vegas. Girl gets drunk. Girl wakes up to find she married some stranger. Girl flees back to New York. Boy calls her up to tell her that, yes, they’re legally married. In time, Boy and Girl fall in love and decide to stay married. Mix in a secondary cliché plot: if they stay married, they get money.

A Reliable Wife

A Reliable Wife begins with anticipation. First, there’s the anticipation of Ralph Truitt, the businessman who owns all the large assets of the town, Truitt, which is named for his family. Ralph Truitt waits on the train platform for a train which is late arriving.


Mudbound, the first novel by Hillary Jordan, is all about tension. Race, family, marriage, class, identity are all buzzing, pressing in the narrative, and all of them feed into the greatest tension of all: the classic survival story of man versus nature. The first few pages describe two brothers scrambling to dig a makeshift grave ahead of an impending storm. This scene sets the tone and becomes, in many ways, a vivid metaphor for the entire narrative.

Love and Other Natural Disasters

This is your life, now what? This is the question Eve has to answer when she finds out during Thanksgiving dinner that her husband, Jon, has been having a long distance emotional affair with another woman for the past year. Eve is devastated and demands that Jon move out that night. Jon complies and leaves their house. Eve’s feeling of betrayal and mistrust lead her to start hacking Jon’s email in order to find out more about the other woman, Laney. Eve reads all Jon’s correspondence with Laney, but she is unable to figure why Jon lied to her for a year.

Making Marriage Modern: Women’s Sexuality from the Progressive Era to World War II

Making Marriage Modern by Christina Simmons explores the many changes to marriage, courtship, and women’s role in society that took place following the Victorian era until World War II.

The Blue Cotton Gown: A Midwife’s Memoir

By the time Patricia Harman finished writing The Blue Cotton Gown, she was no longer working as a midwife. Instead, soaring malpractice fees had caused The Women’s Health Clinic of Torrington, West Virginia, a practice Harman runs with her husband, Dr.

Making Marriage Work: A History of Marriage and Divorce in the Twentieth-Century United States

In Making Marriage Work, Kristin Celello outlines the evolution of public perceptions and attitudes about marriage and divorce in the United States throughout the twentieth century. Drawing on magazine articles, films and popular books, she specifically looks at the development of the notion that being married requires a great deal of work and that a happy marriage is something worth working toward.

Your Roots Are Showing

I really tried to like this book because it has many good points. The plot centers on a painfully honest email that Lizzie, the main character, sends by mistake to her husband revealing the drudgery that her life as a house-bound mother and wife has become. The couple separates and Lizzie is forced to face herself while taking care of the kids, of course. Since getting married, her weight, looks, and physical habits have gone down the drain.

The Bad Wife Handbook

If in these modern times women had to hide potentially influential books from their husbands and others around them, The Bad Wife Handbook would be included among the silent list traded through some secret alley passage.

The Lesbian and Gay Movements: Assimilation or Liberation?

The Lesbian and Gay Movements: Assimilation or Liberation? is a history of post-Stonewall GLBTQ activism as seen through three focused battles: the AIDS crisis, the ban on gays in the military, and the conflict over gay marriage. Craig Rimmerman presents a detailed breakdown of each, assembling them into a supposed study of the differences and relative importance of assimilationist and liberationist strategies.

Love Iranian-American Style

Finding love is never easy. But having to deal with what your family expects, especially when it contradicts the current society that you are a part of, makes it that much harder. Tanaz is an Iranian-American woman, who has pursued an education and is now a filmmaker. However, she is 26 years old and unmarried, which is unacceptable in her family’s eyes.

Brainscan 21: Irreconcilable Differences

In her riveting zine, Alex Wrekk writes in raw and powerful detail about her marriage to a man named J who dominates the relationship and systematically chips away at her self-esteem until she feels like a big zero, like she's the one who is crazy. (Projection and gaslighting are tactics of choice used by the cowardly abusers, but victims don’t usually "get it" until they are in way over their head.) I believe no one can fully understand what a Herculean task escaping and recovering from abuse is unless they have traversed a twisted relationship personally.

She's Not the Man I Married: My Life with a Transgender Husband

She’s Not the Man I Married is a smart, in-depth look at being a woman whose husband is transgendered.

The Proper Care and Feeding of Marriage

Dr. Laura is not a popular personality in many circles, to say the least. She’s anti-choice, anti-feminist and anti-gay. So imagine my surprise when I picked up her latest book, The Proper Care and Feeding of Marriage, and discovered that I actually found some useful advice in it. First of all, a disclaimer: I am not endorsing her political beliefs. And I admit she makes it difficult to get past her gratuitous rants about feminism.

Away from Her

In her adaptation of Alice Munro's short story, "The Bear Came Over the Mountain," Canadian actress, political activist and first-time director Sarah Polley bridges generations and experience in her striking film about aging, adultery and love.

Self Storage

Flan Parker makes money off of other people’s lost stuff. With her husband passively working on his thesis and two children to support, Flan makes money off the contents of unpaid-for storage units that she bids on. Before selling her spoils, Flan vicariously lives through the contents of each box as a reprieve from her own routine life. Although there are worse mates out there, Flan feels somewhat alone in her marriage as her husband, Shae, atrophies on the couch “researching” his thesis. Tables turn, however, when an Afghani woman accidentally hits Flan’s youngest child with a car.

Life After Betrayal: A Practical Guide

Betrayal by a long-term partner is a painful business. Choosing to try to heal and continue a relationship after such a betrayal is very challenging. In her book, Life After Betrayal: A Practical Guide, author Linda Bevan provides a guide for couples who do choose to stay together after a serious betrayal.

Full Frontal Feminism: A Young Woman's Guide to Why Feminism Matters

Jessica Valenti is a part of the feminist blogger elite, and for good reason. The blog she helped to establish, Feministing.com, receives a significant amount of web traffic and is well-known among young, internet savvy, hip feminists. Full disclosure: I read Feministing every now and then. Having read Valenti’s writing on the blog—which tends to be oversimplified and, quite frankly, bratty—I was hoping her analysis in book form would show a tad more depth.

Still Life with Husband

“Why would a woman - and it seems like it’s always women - do that to herself?” And so starts the musings of Lauren Fox in Still Life with Husband. Stuck in a world where gender roles are spilling into every aspect of her life, Emily is struggling to resist the urge to conform and dealing with the onslaught of confusion that her refusal is causing. At 30, Emily’s biological clock hasn’t even been set, a fact that’s a hard realization to her husband and those around her, such as her mother who is desperate to be a grandmother and her pregnant best friend, Meg.

Offbeat Bride: Taffeta-Free Alternatives for Independent Brides

There are some women who, upon getting engaged, will spend hours poring over the most recent 700-page issue of Bride magazine. There are other women who would sooner use that behemoth of a magazine as a firestarter than spend a single minute reading about the most recent trends in bustles and floral arrangements.

The Secret Lives of Lawfully Wedded Wives

More than just an anthology of essays about marriage, The Secret Lives of Lawfully Wedded Wives is a collection of unique perspectives on committed relationships and the human condition - more specifically, the female condition.