The Friend who Got Away: Twenty Women's True-life Tales of Friendships that Blew Up, Burned Out, Or Faded Away

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Jenny Offill, Elissa Schappell
Broadway Books, May 9, 2006 - Family & Relationships - 295 pages
51 Reviews
Losing a friend can be as painful and as agonizing as a divorce or the end of a love affair, yet it is rarely written about or even discussed. THE FRIEND WHO GOT AWAY is the first book to address this near-universal experience, bringing together the brave, eloquent voices of writers like Francine Prose, Katie Roiphe, Dorothy Allison, Elizabeth Strout, Ann Hood, Diana Abu Jabar, Vivian Gornick, Helen Schulman, and many others. Some write of friends who have drifted away, others of sudden breakups that took them by surprise. Some even celebrate their liberation from unhealthy or destructive relationships. Yet at the heart of each story is the recognition of a loss that will never be forgotten.

From stories about friendships that dissolved when one person revealed a hidden self or moved into a different world, to tales of relationships sabotaged by competition, personal ambition, or careless indifference, THE FRIEND WHO GOT AWAY casts new light on the meaning and nature of women’s friendships. Katie Roiphe writes with regret about the period in her life when even close friends seemed expendable compared to men and sex. Mary Morris reveals how a loan led to the unraveling of a lifelong friendship. Vivian Gornick explores how intellectual differences eroded the bond between once inseparable companions. And two contributors, once best friends, tell both sides of the story that led to their painful breakup.

Written especially for this anthology and touched with humor, sadness, and sometimes anger, these extraordinary pieces simultaneously evoke the uniqueness of each situation and illuminate the universal emotions evoked by the loss of a friend.

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The best writing is readable and seamless, imo. - Goodreads
Writing Done well across the board. - Goodreads
Ultimately, too much of the writing here - Goodreads

Review: The Friend Who Got Away: Twenty Women's True Life Tales of Friendships that Blew Up, Burned Out or Faded Away

User Review  - Alisa - Goodreads

I thought the Elizabeth Strout story was amazing and I loved Jenny Offill's, which was lighter and funny. The Kate Bernheimer story was so disturbing and well done and really made me think~ it involves friendships affected by miscarriages. Read full review

Review: The Friend Who Got Away: Twenty Women's True Life Tales of Friendships that Blew Up, Burned Out or Faded Away

User Review  - Edith-nicolecameron - Goodreads

Halfway through this book, I found myself wondering: is it women or just women writers who are self-centered assholes? Some of these are interesting stories, or at least relatable (hence 2 stars ... Read full review

All 45 reviews »

About the author (2006)

JENNY OFFILL is the author of the novel Last Things. She teaches in the M.F.A. writing program at Brooklyn College. ELISSA SCHAPPELL is the author of the novel Use Me, a contributing editor to Vanity Fair, and a cofounder of Tin House.

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