How do you live a full, adult life—as a parent and wife—when you are committed to someone overwhelmed and haunted by suffering and its grave limitations?
TOO MUCH FIRE
by Eleanor Henderson
The very model of responsibility, stability and seeming calm, Eleanor’s marriage to Aaron, who she met in a Florida record store when she was 17, has been riddled with grave complications owing to Aaron’s fearsome, many years-long struggle with a diabolical range of maladies, afflictions and addictions. But for over 20 years, and with two young boys, they persist. In these first 125 pages, appended by a brief but incisive proposal, Eleanor speaks with jolting frankness and relentlessly revealing candor about what it means to commit yourself to someone who suffers so variously and mysteriously, as they seek a diagnosis for the periodic madness that afflicts him to such debilitating ends. How to contend with male vulnerability and weakness when we lack any honest guidelines for doing so? How do you temper your expectations of what you can get or expect from your partner? How can you help your beloved navigate a medical establishment that can’t name, identify or sympathetically treat your elusive, life-warping set of symptoms? How do you live a full, adult life—as a parent and wife—when you are committed tosomeone this overwhelmed and haunted by suffering and its grave limitations? Can and should you persist? In this memoir, acclaimed novelist Eleanor Henderson addresses these questions with lyrical lucidity and grace.
Eleanor Henderson was born in Greece, grew up in Florida, and attended Middlebury College and the University of Virginia, where she received her MFA in 2005. Her debut novel “Ten Thousand Saints” was named one of the 10 Best Books of 2011 by The New York Times and a finalist for the Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction from The Los Angeles Times. She is also the author of the critically acclaimed novel “The Twelve-Mile Straight”. Her short stories have appeared in AgniNorth American Review, Ninth Letter, Columbia, Salon, and The Best American Short Stories. Her nonfiction has appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, All Things Considered, Poets & Writers, and