The Narrow Door: A Memoir of Friendship (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews

An unsentimental exploration of friendship including all the devotion, jealousy, betrayals, reunions, and attachment that come with a life-long companion. Lisicky's prose is lyrical and moves through time in the way of memories--one association moving to another with years of life in between. Anyone who has experienced multiple losses close together will fall in synch with the jagged pacing here. A beautifully written accounting of one person's tremendous impact on a life. 

— Melanie McNair


In The Narrow Door, Paul Lisicky creates a compelling collage of scenes and images drawn from two long-term relationships, one with a woman novelist and the other with his ex-husband, a poet. The contours of these relationships shift constantly. Denise and Paul, stretched by the demands of their writing lives, drift apart, and Paul's romance begins to falter. And the world around them is frail: environmental catastrophes like the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, natural disasters like the earthquake in Haiti, and local disturbances make an unsettling backdrop to the pressing concerns of Denise's cancer diagnosis and Paul's impending breakup. Lisicky's compassionate heart and resilience seem all the stronger in the face of such searing losses. His survival--hard-won, unsentimental, authentic--proves that in turning toward loss, we embrace life.

About the Author

Paul Lisicky is the author of four books, including Famous Builder and The Burning House. He has received fellowships from the NEA and the Michener/Copernicus Society, among others. He teaches in the MFA program at Rutgers University-Camden.
Product Details
ISBN: 9781555977283
ISBN-10: 1555977286
Publisher: Graywolf Press
Publication Date: January 19th, 2016
Pages: 192
Language: English