In all the hubbub and joy surrounding Barack and Michelle Obama as they became the new president and first lady, we noticed a void. Actually, two: John and Elizabeth Edwards. At one point, that couple was expected to be onstage that magical night, with John accepting the job of vice president. But then came revelations of a somewhat dowdy mistress and a towheaded baby with a questionable birth certificate, and sure as sunshine, Edwardss political aspirations died in a hotel closet when National Enquirer reporters caught him red-handed at a hotel way past bedtime. Infidelity rarely has a pretty ending, and dark tales of betrayal and heartbreak are endlessly fascinating. This explains why Cheaters, the darkest reality show ever green-lighted, is a late-night guilty pleasure for so many. Now theres a high-end literary version: The Other Woman: Twenty-one Wives, Lovers, and Others Talk Openly About Sex, Deception, Love, and Betrayal. Two of the 21 renowned authors Victoria Zackheim and Diana Abu-Jaber will share their personal stories Friday night at Books & Books.
I was very hesitant to contribute, says Abu-Jaber. I had some soul searching to do. If youve ever been through being cheated on, youll get something out of this book. Its got a very ... progressive approach to the subject. Some of the stories ask interesting, difficult, provocative questions. The book is juicy and kick-ass. In addition to that, The Other Woman takes into consideration cultural differences and the enormous double standards women and men face in the shadow of a marital rift. Abu-Jaber even offers advice to Elizabeth Edwards: You have to spend a lot of time examining your own feelings of comfort and ask yourself what you want and deserve in a relationship. Do I deserve or need a partner who is just for me? Is it worth it? Find out and express your own opinions at 8 p.m.
Fri., Nov. 21, 8 p.m., 2008