The editors of The Friend Who Got Away are back with a new anthology that will do for money what they did for women’s friendships.
Ours is a culture of confession, yet money remains a distinctly taboo subject for most Americans. In this riveting anthology, a host of celebrated writers explore the complicated role money has played in their lives, whether they’re hiding from creditors or hiding a trust fund. This collection will touch a nerve with anyone who’s ever been afraid to reveal their bank balance.
In these wide-ranging personal essays, Daniel Handler, Walter Kirn, Jill McCorkle, Meera Nair, Henry Alford, Susan Choi, and other acclaimed authors write with startling candor about how money has strengthened or undermined their closest relationships. Isabel Rose talks about the trials and tribulations of dating as an heiress. Tony Serra explains what led him to take a forty-year vow of poverty. September 11 widow Marian Fontana illuminates the heartbreak and moral complexities of victim compensation. Jonathan Dee reveals the debt that nearly did him in. And in paired essays, Fred Leebron and his wife Katherine Rhett discuss the way fights over money have shaken their marriage to the core again and again.
We talk openly about our romantic disasters and family dramas, our problems at work and our battles with addiction. But when it comes to what is or is not in our wallets, we remain determinedly mum. Until now, that is. Money Changes Everything is the first anthology of its kind—an unflinching and on-the-record collection of essays filled with entertaining and enlightening insights into why we spend, save, and steal.
The pieces in Money Changes Everything range from the comic to the harrowing, yet they all reveal the complex, emotionally charged role money plays in our lives by shattering the wall of silence that has long surrounded this topic.
Considering how freely many Americans talk about everything from sex to addiction, "why does such secrecy still surround the issue of money?" ask Offill and Schappell (coeditors of The Friend Who Got Away). It's a conundrum they say arises from a host of core ideas about what it means to live in America: an ostensibly meritocratic society, where "only the self-made man or woman represents the vaunted ideal." This collection of personal essays by 22 writers strives to open the pecuniary dialogue, illustrating the complexity of the issue through alternately touching, humorous and instructive examples. One writer worries over his newfound yuppiedom as he purchases an elderly neighbor's apartment. In another essay, the wife of a firefighter killed on 9/11 feels "overwhelmed by managing the money been given." In a third, a frugal young woman is forced to auction her family heirlooms to discharge her mother's financial debts. Artists cover their well-heeled tracks for fear of appearing inauthentic, up-and-comers spend too much to bed sophisticated women and, along the way, the reader learns that talking about money is actually just talking about life. Which isn't such a big deal, is it?