The Bad Wife Handbook
(Wesleyan University Press)

Rachel Zucker’s third book of poems is a darkly comic collection that looks unsparingly at the difficulties and compromises of married life. Formally innovative and blazingly direct, The Bad Wife Handbook crossexamines marriage, motherhood, monogamy, and writing itself. Her upending of grammatical and syntactic expectations lends these poems an urgent richness and aesthetic complexity that mirrors the puzzles of real life. Candid, subversive, and genuinely moving, The Bad Wife Handbook is an important portrait of contemporary marriage and the writing life, of emotional connection and disconnection, of togetherness and aloneness. It is a new kind of Confessionalism, a fearless engagement with truth and telling, a treatise on what it means to say or to keep secret, an investigation into the uncanny ways writing renders the self both more and less visible.

“Zucker has the confessionalist’s knack for turning personal and difficult into universal and transcendent, and the experimentalist’s gift for fearless, associative play. The combination is unsettling and groundbreaking: a vitally necessary book for our age.”
Arielle Greenberg, author, My Kafka Century

“I love this book’s fearless engagement with the impossibility of marriage; gorgeously Zucker combines prosaic thoroughness with stopped-time incandescence. If The Bad Wife Handbook is the manifesto for a new movement, sign me up!”
Wayne Koestenbaum, author of Best-Selling Jewish Porn Films: New Poems

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» Review: The Forward
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» Review: The New York Sun

» Review: The Los Angeles Times
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» Named one of the best books in poetry 2007, Library Journal