Discover more from It's All Still True by Maggie Ginsberg
Shacking up with my husband
Plus a full slate of upcoming events
My debut novel, Still True, centers on a married couple who’ve never lived together. One of the most common questions I’ve gotten on book tour is where on earth I ever got that idea. Those who know me know the answer: My husband and I never moved in together. We’ve lived as “apartners” for more than 10 years. But that’s all changing at the end of this summer when my youngest leaves the nest, and I finally go shack up with him and his excellent kids.
I’ve been joking that moving in together is going to be “bad for my brand,” because I’ve never in my life had so many conversations with people I’ve just met about marriage. What does it all mean, what’s the point, especially if you’re not planning on having kids? (Jack and Lib Hanson, married 28 years, are childless—or so Jack thinks.) Why get married at all, if you aren’t even going to live together? Everyone questions Jack and Lib’s arrangement but, as Jack says on page 62, Did he ever ask them why they’d gotten married? Surely their reasons went beyond the opportunity to share a roof.
I’m not complaining, I welcome the interrogation into Jack and Lib’s dynamic and I’m fascinated by other people’s takes—I purposely wrote a book about marriage because I like thinking about it. Because I’m on my second marriage. Because I have so many questions myself about partnership, independence, intimacy, friendship, fidelity, privacy, community, accountability, longevity. Married or not, living with another person is obviously both challenging and rewarding. In my view, you maybe put up with things you don’t like in return for an enhanced experience of things you do. Living separately can be lonely, sure—human beings are pack creatures; we crave connection on a primal level. But it’s also easier to not have your views or behaviors challenged on a daily basis. To be in full control of your surroundings and never have to compromise. My husband and I are not Lib and Jack, and our reasons for living apart have been complicated and mostly logistical—now those logistics are shifting, and so are we. We’re two middle-aged people who’ve grown quite comfortable in our forced independence and scheduled solitude, so there will be an adjustment period. But we’ve gotten to the point where it feels like we can be more and do less if we are sharing an address, and now we’re looking forward to it.
That said, we’re intentionally designing solitary spaces out of respect to each other and the healthy boundaries of our partnership. My favorite is this one: a writing loft that’s just for me and my gazillion books, with a window that faces the sunrise and the library. That’s where I’ll finish the book I’m writing now, which hopefully you’ll one day read, if I’m lucky enough to have it published. I’m too superstitious to talk about the story, but you can bet I’m not done thinking about marriage, partnerships, intimacy and independence. I doubt I ever will be.
Shameless plug: If you liked Still True (or any other book, honestly) and haven’t left a review on Goodreads and Amazon, please consider doing so. It doesn’t have to be verbose or fancy—in fact, it probably shouldn’t be. A high rating and one simple line is enough to make a big difference in boosting the algorithm and helping a book get noticed by other potential readers.
News about Still True
Since my last newsletter, I’ve had some really cool events including a reading at the Fitchburg Public Library, a women’s history month panel at Blue House Books in Kenosha, and a joint appearance with Alex Bledsoe at the Mount Horeb Public Library. I’ve also continued to visit private book groups (and continued to forget to take photos, alas) and I’ve been delighted to learn that Still True has been the April pick for several community book groups, including Out of the Lion’s Mouth book group in Green Bay and at the Lake Geneva Public Library. I understand there’s a new review out in the spring issue of Wisconsin People & Ideas (but I haven’t seen it yet), and I got the incredible news that “Still True” is the 2023 selection for Madison Public Library’s Book Club Cafe. I’ll be joining an impressive lineup of past authors that have included Chloe Benjamin, Lucy Tan, Jane Hamilton and Elizabeth Berg. Tickets for the evening fundraiser include a reading and Q&A, dessert and coffee, and a raffle for baskets of goodies from Orange Tree Imports. Books are provided by A Room of One’s Own bookstore and tickets go on sale in April. Finally, I’m thrilled that I’ve been chosen to give the Friday luncheon keynote at the Wisconsin Public Library Association’s WAPL spring conference in Oshkosh. This is also a ticketed event, with details available on my website.
Thank you for the notes you’ve continued to send, and the ongoing astonishing ways you’ve supported this book and my work—I still can’t quite believe it. I’ll continue to keep my website and social media channels updated on all news and upcoming events, so please check in for details. Many organizers of these events have individual Facebook event pages as well, if you want to help spread the word that way.
April and May Events
I’m so excited to announce a full slate of events coming up in April and May! I remain profoundly grateful for these invitations and the opportunity to connect with readers.
GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN Thursday, April 6 at 6pm — In conversation with Christina Clancy at Lion’s Mouth Books in downtown Green Bay. Books are available for pre-purchase on the Lion’s Mouth website.
DECORAH, IOWA Monday, April 24 at 7pm — Dragonfly Books is hosting me for a reading and signing at Pulpit Rock Brewing Co. Books are available for pre-purchase on Dragonfly’s website.
LAKE GENEVA, WI Thursday, April 26 at 6pm — Reading & signing at the Lake Geneva Public Library, with books available for purchase on site.
OSHKOSH, WI Friday, April 28 at 12:15pm — I am giving the Friday luncheon keynote at the Wisconsin Library Association’s WAPL spring conference. This ticketed event takes places at the Best Western Premier Waterfront Hotel & Convention Center.
FORT ATKINSON, WI Saturday, April 29 at 11am — Reading & signing at the at the Dwight Foster Public Library. Books will be available for purchase on site.
MADISON, WI Tuesday, May 16 at 7:15pm — I’m the featured speaker for Madison Public Library’s Book Club Cafe 2023 fundraiser. This is a ticketed fundraiser with books available at the event from A Room of One’s Own.
SPRING GREEN, WI Thursday, May 18 at 6pm — Reading & signing at the Spring Green Community Library. Books are available for purchase from Arcadia Books.
Thanks for reading It's All Still True by Maggie Ginsberg! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.