Looking for breakup-themed literary fiction
June 29, 2017 6:31 AM   Subscribe

I'm interested in reading literary fiction novels or short stories about breakups. Have any ideas?

I recently read and enjoyed the Junot Díaz book "This is How You Lose Her" (the story "The Cheater's Guide to Love" was particularly good and devastating, though the cheating aspect wasn't applicable to my circumstances) and would love to find more literary fiction in that vein.

Bonus points for things that tell the story from a male perspective (as breakupper or breakup…ee?) but ultimately I'm open to anything.

Thanks AskMeFi!
posted by cvp to Society & Culture (11 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Random extra thoughts:

1. I think I'd also be up for literary non-fiction, but I'm mostly focussed on fiction.

2. I also found this thread but it's over a decade old… definitely some good ideas in there, but I'd love to know what's new since then!
posted by cvp at 6:43 AM on June 29, 2017

James Thurber wrote a short story called The Breaking Up of the Winships, which I can't find online but appears in his collection The Thurber Carnival.
posted by JanetLand at 7:09 AM on June 29, 2017

High Fidelity is a classic of this genre, though the resolution of the main relationship might be unhelpful for you.
posted by Ragged Richard at 7:13 AM on June 29, 2017

Here's Raymond Carver's short story "Why Don't You Dance?".
posted by thursdaystoo at 7:21 AM on June 29, 2017

BODY: A Novel by Harry Crews tells of a broken relationship from a man's perspective. The women with whom he breaks up is still in his life and he must deal with the constant attention she attracts.
posted by the matching mole at 7:29 AM on June 29, 2017

Love Is a Four-Letter Word: True Stories of Breakups, Bad Relationships, and Broken Hearts includes a story from Diaz (that ended up in This Is How You Lose Her, and it's split between men and women's perspectives.
posted by gladly at 7:31 AM on June 29, 2017

It's an old one, but you might check out the book The Sterile Cuckoo (the movie based on the book is decent, not too dated, though the book is better). Not perfect, but I like it for the arc of the relationship - you see what draws them together, and also what makes him decide to end it. Also try The Maples Stories by John Updike.
posted by gudrun at 8:06 AM on June 29, 2017

I like this Charlie Jane Anders story about a man and a woman with psychic abilities. They haven't met yet, but know exactly when they will break up. Refreshingly different and deeper than it sounds. If you don't like speculative fic, I won't make you read it.
posted by puddledork at 8:16 AM on June 29, 2017

Jonathan Lethem - As She Climbed Across the Table
posted by robocop is bleeding at 8:37 AM on June 29, 2017

Lydia Davis's novel The End of the Story is from a woman's perspective; her short story "Break It Down" is from a man's perspective.
posted by Beardman at 11:15 AM on June 29, 2017 [1 favorite]

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