They say love conquers all, but that’s a lie. Just ask the narrator of A Life Less Convenient: Letters to My Ex, whose story unfolds across dozens of letters to her ex. She wants to make her relationship work with D — but how can they stand a chance against the most selfish and obsessive lover, her own failing body? Hobbled by pain and fragility from a chronic disease, every day is a battle to remain herself, never mind love someone else. Yet she keeps trying. Because…how can she not?
A Life Less Convenient: Letters to My Ex speaks to both the beauty and the ugliness of chronic illness; the daily management, care and love of self in relation to disease and partnership; how illness becomes a needy and sometimes aggressive third partner in a relationship that can create both closeness and distance; and how we create, hold on to and renegotiate who we are in relation to illness. Jennifer Clare Burke’s singularly moving novel in letters, A Life Less Convenient: Letters to My Ex, details the emotional and physical realities a couple face as a terrible illness forces difficult changes upon them. This expanded second edition includes seven new chapters, plus an appendix collecting for the first time Burke’s nonfiction essays on pathology and the body.