How to Stay Married
By Harrison Scott Key
Harrison Scott Key, winner of the Thurber Prize for American Humor, tells the shocking, “shot through with sharp humor” (The Washington Post), spiritually profound story of his journey through hell and back when infidelity threatens his marriage.
One gorgeous autumn day, Harrison discovers that his wife—the sweet, funny, loving mother of their three daughters, a woman “who’s spent just about every Sunday of her life in a church”—is having an affair with a family friend. This revelation propels the hysterical, heartbreaking events in How to Stay Married, casting our narrator onto “the factory floor of hell,” where his wife was now in love with a man who “wears cargo shorts, on purpose.” What will he do? Kick her out? Set fire to all her panties in the yard? Beat this man to death with a gardening implement? Ask God for help in winning her back?
Armed only with a sense of humor and a hunger for the truth, Harrison embarks on a hellish journey into his past, seeking answers to the riddles of faith and forgiveness. Through an absurd series of escalating confessions and betrayals, Harrison reckons with his failure to love his wife in the ways she needed most, resolves to fight for his family, and in a climax almost too ridiculous to be believed, finally learns that love is no joke. “A fiercely memorable account of marital devotion against all odds” (Publishers Weekly, starred review), How to Stay Married is a comic romp unlike any in contemporary literature, a wild ride through the hellscape of marriage and the mysteries of mercy.