My Marriage A to Z

A Big-City Romance

By: Elinor Nauen
Illustrator: Sophy Naess
A prose poem written in dictionary form, My Marriage A to Z is a unique chronicle of life within marriage.

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Categories: Adult | All Books | Poetry


You can put this little book by your bed, in the bathroom, in your pocket or purse, wherever it's easily at hand so you can consider the bits and pieces of your relationship with your own beloved. The A to Z of this big city romance is like a foamy broth of koans, coffee, smiles, and aspirin. It can cure a headache and sweeten the heart, and the moral of the story is you can do it yourself. The illustrations by Sophy Naess, like the work of Maira Kalman, reveal one last ingredient of Elinor Nauen's gumbo— quirky joy. Take for instance:

Beginning, in the. One day in 1983, I told my friend I was unable to read anything but the tabloids. "Are you in love?" she said.
Sex. I wonder what he thinks about when we make love. One time last week I started thinking about what socks I was going to wear the next day, but usually I only think about him. I mean, I don't even really think, I think.
Zaftig. This Yiddish word means deliciously plump and juicy, with a connotation of, well, stacked. A dish, in other words, which is probably Y Johnny married me (See Sex).

Elinor Nauen, a poet and journalist, usually focuses her work on cars and baseball and Johnny, her beloved. She lives in New York City where she hangs out at the Poetry Project, the local synagogue, and Yankee Stadium when she can afford the tickets.

3 reviews for My Marriage A to Z

  1. The Midwest Book Review
    My Marriage A to Z is a charming and very much recommended pick for those who are exploring the nature of their own relationships, highly recommended.

  2. WORD Recommends
    This tiny, illustrated book is a simple, poetic glimpse into a marriage. It’s a great gift for your loved one or for an anniversary or wedding, or for anyone who could use a reminder about why we fall in love and how sharing a life with someone can be wonderful. It’s sweet and romantic, and really, who can’t use some sweetness and romance?

    Cinco Puntos Press has a great reputation, and this little book of poetry adds to its wealth of good literature in a big way. Elinor Nauen weaves a string of poems that read like a novel as we plunge into her relationship with her husband Johnny…Also included in this book is artwork by Sophy Naess…While illustration is considered to be an important companion to writing, My Marriage A to Z demonstrates this to a T. There are many more things I would love to include in this review, but you will have to just pick up this gem of a book yourself. —Aimee Nicole

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