Jun 18, 2009

A Loh Moment

One of my favorite writers on any subject but in particular on gender and contemporary family life, Sandra Tsing Loh, drops a bomb in the newest Atlantic: She's divorcing after 20 years. Though she mercifully doesn't spell it all out, she does allude to her own infidelity, to her husband (a touring musician, if memory serves, in Bette Midler's band) putting all her belongings out of the house (that's not in the essay but in this scarifying video, in which I was stunned to note the framed Back Stage West/Drama-Logue cover I commissioned in some twilight year of the last millennium), and, in an uncharacteristically vulnerable conclusion, to breaking up her longtime marriage for "something as demonstrably fleeting as love."

As usual, the details of her own personal life aren't really the point of the piece (though oh how they fascinate). Loh still somehow manages, as she always has, to mine her own personal tumult, and that of her (slightly fictionalized) friends, for funny, penetrating insight, though I must say that in this case her willingness to follow her life where its meanings lead her, which has in the past made her politics delightfully particular and idiosyncratic, takes on a curiously moving intimacy and, dare I say it for a writer so dizzily multi-claused, a kind of gravity.

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