Monday, July 30, 2018

Jonathan Santlofer

Jonathan Santlofer's new memoir is The Widower's Notebook.

From his Q&A with Deborah Kalb:

Q: You’ve written that “men are neither trained nor expected to express their feelings.” At what point did you decide to write this memoir about the loss of your wife?

A: I’d say the decision was kind of made for me. For two years after my wife died, I kept notebooks—things I couldn’t say in public. I found myself transcribing notes and the book wrote itself. I didn’t think of writing a book.

I have to credit several women I know who encouraged me to write it…Men are not brought up to express their feelings. It was difficult, but it became less so as I did it.

Q: Yes, in the book you write that you asked yourself, “Do men actually write these kinds of books?” What do you see as some of the most common perceptions and misperceptions about how grief affects men?

A: I wouldn’t have been able to answer that a while ago. The culture gives us a narrow bandwidth. Men are not supposed to grieve openly. There are gender stereotypes regarding grief--I hope they change. Changing stereotypes was a motivating factor in writing this book. People should be able to grieve as they want to.

The men I know are more open [than their parents, but] my men friends would come over and hang out and would not...[read on]
--Marshal Zeringue