“At first I felt guilty for not deriving pleasure from following my husband around the world. Then I felt conned by feminist ideology and began to self-identify as an anti-feminist. It took me a while to figure out that it wasn’t supposed to work. That’s the point. Make women miserable enough doing everything, instead of having everything, and we’ll retreat back into the home, where we belong. And it could pretty much be fixed with one thing: affordable childcare. Which they have in France. But I digress. This is not a feminist story. Or is it?”
*What is your book about?
Set in the jet-set world of an expat wife, Em’s Awful Good Fortune explores what happens in a marriage when dual careers collide.
Why did you want to write this book?
I started out writing a memoir about my life as an expat wife. But my personal story became influenced by the political war against women that is gaining ground in the United States. As a result, my idea for a global romp transformed into a feminist look at marriage and compromise.
*What do you hope other people will take away from reading your book?
I hope they laugh! And then, I hope they pay attention. Listen, this is a raw, authentic peek into a messy relationship that tests the ability for two careers to co-exist in one marriage. Ultimately it is about self-empowerment. And that’s the takeaway: self-care is not a luxury, it’s an essential.
If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be? Don’t give up your game, girl!
Who are your favorite authors (and why)? Lately I’ve been reading memoirs by Claire Dederer, Lydia Yuknavich and Gina Frangello. I’m drawn to women writers who tell the truth, who don’t sugar-coat it, who don’t hold back. When women tell the truth, the rest of us feel a little bit less crazy.
What does literary success look like to you? When Pulitzer-prize winning author Junot Diaz said “The pages crackle” about my book, Em’s Awful Good Fortune, that was it. Literary success.
Has Covid impacted your book release? It’s put a crimp in my plans for a book tour! But, instead, I’m doing zoom book club appearances right from my home office. Em is a bit provocative, so she’s perfect for a lively book club event.
*How can our readers get a copy of your book? Em’s Awful Good Fortune is available wherever books are sold—Amazon, Barnes and Noble and here’s a link for indie bookstores: https://bookshop.org/books/em-s-awful-good-fortune/9781647421427
*What is the best way for our readers to connect with you? There’s a contact page on my website: https://marciemaxfield.com/