**“An elegant masterpiece…Wry but also warm and generous.”
—Roxane Gay, New York Times bestselling author of Hunger
A Time Most Anticipated Book of 2022 CJ Hauser expands on her viral sensation “The Crane Wife” with seventeen further essays in this intimate, frank, and funny book about love in the twenty-first century**
Ten days after calling off her wedding, CJ Hauser went on an expedition to Texas to study the whooping crane. After a week wading through the gulf, she realized she'd almost signed up to live someone else's life.
In this intimate, frank, and funny memoir-in-essays, Hauser releases herself from traditional narratives of happiness and goes looking for ways of living that leave room for the unexpected, making plenty of mistakes along the way. She kisses Internet strangers and officiates at a wedding. She rereads Rebecca in the house her boyfriend once shared with his ex-wife and rewinds Katharine Hepburn in The Philadelphia Story to learn how not to lose yourself in a relationship. She thinks about Florence Nightingale at a robot convention and grief at John Belushi’s rock and roll gravesite, and the difference between those stories we’re asked to hold versus those we choose to carry. She writes about friends and lovers, blood family and chosen family, and asks what more expansive definitions of love might offer us all.
Told with the late-night barstool directness of your wisest, most bighearted friend, The Crane Wife is a book for everyone whose life doesn't look the way they thought it would; for everyone learning to find joy in the not-knowing; for everyone trying, if sometimes failing, to build a new sort of life story, a new sort of family, a new sort of home, to live in.