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THE GEOGRAPHY OF LOVE, a memoir
THE GEOGRAPHY OF LOVE
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Glenda gives an overview of the book:

“If I had given it much thought, I might have hesitated to marry a man for whom at the age of 45 much of the past was too painful to consider--for either of us. Truthfully, thought had little to do with it. Instinct did--the instinct to seize a sure and ebullient happiness or go down trying.”Falling in love is arguably the greatest risk and leap of faith any of us take. There’s no guarantee for future happiness, no protection from the ugly scars of the past, no shield from tragedy--this powerful memoir reminds us why we bother.At a lakeside café in the summer of 1988, 31-year-old Glenda Burgess is sitting across from 44-year-old Kenneth Grunzweig and falling in love. Then Ken confesses that he has already been widowed twice, under harrowing circumstances. This tragic past, the age difference, Ken’s emotionally scarred teenage daughter--all might be enough to send...
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“If I had given it much thought, I might have hesitated to marry a man for whom at the age of 45 much of the past was too painful to consider--for either of us. Truthfully, thought had little to do with it. Instinct did--the instinct to seize a sure and ebullient happiness or go down trying.”
Falling in love is arguably the greatest risk and leap of faith any of us take. There’s no guarantee for future happiness, no protection from the ugly scars of the past, no shield from tragedy--this powerful memoir reminds us why we bother.
At a lakeside café in the summer of 1988, 31-year-old Glenda Burgess is sitting across from 44-year-old Kenneth Grunzweig and falling in love. Then Ken confesses that he has already been widowed twice, under harrowing circumstances. This tragic past, the age difference, Ken’s emotionally scarred teenage daughter--all might be enough to send anyone running, but Glenda believed in her instincts, believed more than anything that this lovely, generous man would shape her life. And Ken, who with his heartbreaking losses had long said that he’d given up on love, came to share a sense of their romantic destiny. The two embark on the sort of love affair that many of us don’t believe exist anymore--a grand romance that buoys them through the birth of two kids and fifteen magical years of marriage until tragedy strikes again in the form of a shadowy spot on Ken’s lung. The journey that follows will test their resilience and strengthen their devotion.
The Geography of Love is a book about believing in first instincts and second chances.
It is a poignant exploration of the depths of the human heart and our ability to love and to trust no matter the obstacles.
It is a reminder that “real” life is always richer, stranger, and more extraordinary than fiction.
It is the most moving love story you’ll read this year.

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THE GEOGRAPHY OF LOVE by GLENDA BURGESS (copyright 2008)

(glendaburgessbooks.com: excerpt/ Prologue)

 

Physicists say we are made of stardust. Intergalactic debris and far-flung atoms, shards of carbon nanomatter rounded up by gravity to circle the sun. As atoms pass through an eternal revolving door of possible form, energy and mass dance in fluid relationship. We are stardust, we are man, we are thought. We are story.

“It’s always a story, my girl,” my father told me one summer evening when I was young. “Falling stars, rings in a tree trunk, the river as it swells by, all stories.”

We were camping in the wilderness north of Vancouver, Washington, along the pebble shoals of the Lewis River. It was an hour after sunset, and the sky was deepening to an inky lavender at the edge of the black canopy of trees. We crouched beside the water, washing up after a quick dinner of cowboy stew. I asked him what made stars shoot. At nine years old, I was ready for real explanations, heavy truth, clues and answers to bigger mysteries than long division. My father had studied physics as a young man. I knew he would take my question seriously.

He reached behind him to loosen a flat river stone and skipped it out across the burbling rapids. Please, I begged silently, tell me the truth. I knew with deep inner conviction that the way my father answered my question would somehow affect the way I asked and answered questions the rest of my life.

He tossed out another stone as he considered the darkening sky.

“Just a bit of chance and chaos, Sunshine,” he said. “Atoms that dance.”

I think back to that long ago conversation as I ponder the effects of luck and disaster on the human heart. A child then, I had no real awareness of human fragility, but I absolutely knew shooting stars pirouetted across the universe. Life, my search for truth, seemed dusted by a dash of magic.

Only now in the wake of fortune, do I truly understand.

glenda-burgess's picture

"I read Glenda Burgess' poignant and harrowing memoir, THE GEOGRAPHY OF LOVE, in one sitting-- in one breath -- and all I had ever felt about love's ability to vanquish everything, to swallow heartbreak, to correct history, Burgess makes us believe. And in a fashion that reads like a classic novel." --Jacquelyn Mitchard, author of <I> The Deep End of the Ocean

Glenda Burgess is a winner of The Rupert Hughes Fiction Award, Maui Writers Conference, 1998; a New Century Writer Award short story finalist, NCWA 2002; and received recognition for her short fiction at the Aspen Literary Festival, 2002. She has published two novels, an academic work, and most recently a memoir, The Geography of Love (Broadway Books, release date August 2008). She is currently at work on another novel, and resides in Spokane, Washington, with her family and a singing Scottie. She considers the theme of her fiction to be the complexities and mysteries of human passion echoed in art. Ms. Burgess studied creative writing at writers retreats, workshops, and seminars at the University of Washington, the University of California (Berkeley),the Creative Writing Program in Continuing Education at Stanford, the Maui Writers School, and the Aspen Writers Workshop, to name a selected few. Glenda Burgess is a member of The Authors Guild, New York; the Pacific Northwest Writers Association; and the Willamette Writers Association.

About Glenda

"I read Glenda Burgess' poignant and harrowing memoir, THE GEOGRAPHY OF LOVE, in one sitting-- in one breath -- and all I had ever felt about love's ability to vanquish everything, to swallow heartbreak, to correct history, Burgess makes us believe. And in a fashion that...

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Author's Publishing Notes

Hardback release August 5, 2008