Iowa Alumni Magazine | June 2008 | Reviews

The Bad Wife Handbook by Rachel Zucker

By IAM Staff
The Bad Wife Handbook by Rachel Zucker, 96MFA Wesleyan University Press

Fairy-tale couples may live happily ever after, but Rachel Zucker, 96MFA, knows that the real-life road to romance can be rocky. In The Bad Wife Handbook, the poet examines the challenges—such as compromise, lust, and monogamy—that come with marriage and motherhood.

Fellow poet Arielle Greenberg says that Zucker "has the confessionalist's knack for turning personal and difficult into universal and transcendent."

Zucker defies conventional grammar and syntax to muse on how a wife can feel both loved and alone, trapped and free. Caught between these feelings, she concludes that even a woman who promises to walk hand-in-hand with her husband through life can still be on her own.