When Love is a Four-Letter Word: True Stories of Breakups, Bad Relationships, and Broken Hearts turned up at Flavorpill HQ, we were excited to read lovelorn tales from great writers like Wendy McClure, Kate Christensen, Gary Shteyngart, Junot Diaz, and Jami Attenberg, among others. Here’s a line or two from each of their stories. To find out who’s who, follow the jump.
1. “It took two cities for us to break up. I began the process during a visit to Naples, we took our plight onto the Eurostar train to Rome, and it ended there.”
2. “In the first three months you break up with him a few times for no particular reason. This is what you do, what you have always done.”
3. “Of course we fought, me and the novia — I mean, the needs of the pueblo aside, I had just been bagged fucking some other girl — but it was nothing too outrageous. For one thing, we were too busy wrenching teeth.”
4. “Surely, a world war could transform any mumbling, indifferent seventh-grade guy into a roach warrior with smudged biceps. At school I’d consider the possibilities while gazing across the lunchroom at my crush objects. You ignore me now, Joshua Kroger, I’d think, but it would be different if we were stranded in an underground bunker.”
5. “We said good-bye, and I went on my way with my newly big ass and zitty face, no longer Lolita, no longer powerful, no longer fascinating.”
Highlight the text below to see if you correctly matched the author with his or her sob story. 1. Gary Shteyngart
2. Jami Attenberg
3. Junot Diaz
4. Wendy McClure
5. Kate Christensen
The collection, edited by Michael Taekens, also contains contributions from Neal Pollock, Maud Newton, Josh Kilmer-Purcell, Lynda Barry (as a color graphic insert!), and others. Check it out here.