The Divorce Diet

“Revenge is sweet. Reinventing yourself is even sweeter.”
—Cathy Lamb

Abigail is sure the only thing standing between her and happiness is the weight she gained along with her beloved new baby. Until she instantly loses 170 pounds of husband.

When Thad declares that “this whole marriage thing” is no longer working, a shell-shocked Abigail takes her infant daughter, Rosie, and moves back to her parents’ house. Floundering, she turns to an imaginary guru and best friend, the author of her new weight-loss book. But surviving heartache, finding a job, and staying sane as a suddenly single new mom isn’t easy, especially on a diet—sorry, life journey.

Make an inventory of your skills, Abigail’s guru instructs. Abigail loves cooking and preparing food--real food, not the fatless, joyless dishes her diet prescribes, or the instant-frozen-artificially flavored fare she finds in her mother’s kitchen. So far, following everyone else’s rules has led to being broke, lonely, and facing a lifetime of poached eggs, faux mayonnaise, and jobs in chain restaurants. What might happen if Abigail followed her own recipe for a good life instead?…

Bitingly funny, wise, and insightful, Ellen Hawley’s fresh new novel is an ode to food and self-discovery for any woman who’s ever walked away from a relationship--or a diet--to find what true satisfaction is all about.

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What People are Saying

“A sweet and realistic story about how the smallest of comforts can provide the greatest abundance and joy.”

— Margaret Dilloway, author of Sisters of Heart and Snow

“A funny, touching, wry, sophisticated, appealing--oh, you know all those adjectives. But Ellen Hawley’s Divorce Diet actually deserves them. Food and love and loss and resilience--and a terrific narrative playfulness--are Hawley’s recipe for a slyly entertaining and heartening novel.”

— Daniel Menaker, author of The Treatment

“Any reader who has ever experienced the loss of love will find much to identify with in The Divorce Diet. It was heartening to watch the narrator slowly come back to life after being abandoned with a small child and no job. Ellen Hawley writes wry and poignant prose that keeps you laughing and reading well after your bedtime.”

— Lisa Alther, author of Blood Feud 

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Open Line

Published by Coffee House Press, February, 2008

Annette Majoris is a late-night radio host spinning her wheels in flyover land. Her big personality and gorgeous voice have only gotten her so far and she desperately needs a hook. One slow night, with a caller ranting about the usual things, she decides to take it to the next level-just throw it out there-what if the Vietnam War never happened? What if it was a government-concocted nightmare? A mind-control experiment of grand proportions?

When the lines light up like a Christmas tree, she knows she’s hit on something special, but even she can’t imagine how far this will take her. With a few simple questions, Annette has inadvertently tapped into the wounded American psyche and found a way to heal it. If the Vietnam War never happened, then the United States had never suffered defeat and none of its veterans had been involved in the atrocities of war.

Buoyed by political powerbrokers and their puppets, her outrageous claims gain legitimacy and virtually overnight Annette is speaking to crowded halls, dating a milling magnate, dining with the governor, and meeting with TV producers. But has she really unmasked the greatest conspiracy in American history, or is she just being played for a fool by the powers-that-be?

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What People are Saying

“Hawley’s characters are fully realized people, with their own set of ambitions, insecurities and competing desires, and her great achievement is to have constructed out of their lives a deft and hilarious sendup of the media and political culture.”

— Publishers Weekly, starred review,

“Annette is feeling the truth of the proverb about being careful what you wish for. Hawley . . . has given us a well-written, fast-paced story with believable characters who could have easily been cardboard stereotypes. Talk-show listeners will recognize the forces at play here, and this novel will appeal both to them and to fans of political novels like Larry Beinhart’s The Librarian and American Hero, the basis for the movie Wag the Dog.”

— Debbie Bogenschutz, Library Journal,

“Hawley . . . gives Annette and Stan some priceless metaphors. Here is Stan observing his roommate: ‘Flambard picked through Del Reiss’s books like a four-year-old picking through chow mein for the chicken bits, shoving everything else to one side of his plate.’ Annette notices that her lover’s mansion ‘was Hansel and Gretel meet Frank Lloyd Wright and they all get introduced by Donald Trump.’ . . . The book is great comedy, but it also is challenging and sobering, leaving us to wonder just how far reality can be bent out of shape.”

— Brigitte Frase, Star Tribune,

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Trip Sheets

Published by Milkweed Editions

Cath Rahven is a cab driver who has a perfect sense of direction in everything except her own life—she bears the curse of “congenitally bad judgment.” So Cath begins to make lists to help her get her bearings, remind her of where the dead ends are.

Cath begins the task of unearthing herself from the safe and familiar but unsatisfying in her life. And she discovers that she is more loving and more lovable than she thought possible.

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