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DEBBIE WEISS author talk/signing

Local author Debbie Weiss will be discussing her new memoir "AVAILABLE AS IS: A MIDLIFE WIDOW'S SEARCH FOR LOVE"

Bookshop Benicia will be cohosting with Sweetness and Light - event will take place at 309 1st St



Event Date: 
Sunday, September 25, 2022 - 4:30pm to 5:00pm
Benicia, CA 94510
Available as Is: A Midlife Widow's Search for Love Cover Image
ISBN: 9781647422370
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: She Writes Press - September 13th, 2022

Following the untimely death of her husband, a former attorney recounts embarking on an uncertain return to the dating scene in this debut memoir. The book opens with Weiss lying awake at 4 in the morning obsessing over her newly created profile for an online Jewish dating community. Her husband, George, had died 14 months previously after being diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer. Her high school sweetheart, George died at the age of 53, leaving the author a widow four months shy of her 50th birthday. The couple were “introverted only children who never grew up” and who lived in their “own little world of two.” She admits that the prospect of dating again felt like throwing herself into “dire straits.” Weiss recalls her various dating experiences while sharing details of her past life with George. One early date, an Alec Baldwin look-alike, felt compelled to tell her about his former partner’s breast enhancements. After sex, another man told her that he was too restless to sleep with a person in his bed. Weiss later became disillusioned with online dating, dismayed that she had become the equivalent of “the girl in high school the popular guy did in his Trans Am but didn’t take to the prom.” She decided to retreat from the dating community, conceding that the “grinning redhead” in her profile photograph “wasn’t me.” The author instead turned to writing, beginning a master’s degree, and in doing so set out on an unexpected journey to facing and understanding her grief. Weiss is a dryly amusing writer who tells it like it is: “I watch movies about widowed people and throw cocktail olives at the screen.” Despite the memoir’s somber subject matter, it is peppered with many such moments of levity. The author is unafraid to broach the subject of her “reawakening” sex drive and often does so with a hilarious bluntness: “ ‘Did you use Viagra?’ I asked as I tied the sash on my new black silk bathrobe. I was puzzled by the disconnect between the erection and the ennui.” The book’s humor is balanced by moments of reflection that can waver between the tender and the brutally self-critical: “He was a lover who made me feel alive. I told myself I was being a realist. He loved me in his own way….Now I know I was being an idiot. Not so brave after all.” Weiss also writes carefully sculpted sentences, drawing on simple yet poignant imagery: “I could have told Ben what real pain looked like, about George’s last days, the ones I kept going over, measuring them out like spools of black ribbon.” The senses of searching and disillusionment conveyed here are ones that readers who have lost spouses will closely relate to: “Dating left me wary, and I missed the softness I’d had when I was married, when I was truly loved.” Still, the memoir builds toward a moment of strength and lucidity. This is a deeply personal story but one that Weiss shares with a beguiling openness and wit. A sharply written, heartfelt dating account that proves both enriching and amusing.

Kirkus Reviews