Dani Shapiro’s Meditation on Marriage

In her new memoir, Hourglass, Shapiro offers an unflinching account of her own 18-year marriage


Have you ever wondered whether you are the only woman in a complicated relationship? If so, HOURGLASS, an intimate memoir from best-selling writer, Dani Shapiro, will assuage your concerns. A refreshingly unguarded portrait of Shapiro’s own 18-year marriage, HOURGLASS is intensely personal yet wildly relatable. Shapiro meets M. at a cocktail party in New York City and falls deeply in love. After the pair exchange “I do’s” and move to rural Connecticut, however, time takes a toll. Shapiro writes with beautiful, honest detail about the obstacles she and M. endure: the life-threatening illness of their young son, financial difficulties, deaths of parents, conflicting career demands. When these challenges overshadow the joys of her marriage, Shapiro demonstrates that disappointment doesn’t necessarily need to destroy hope. Commitment is work. Commitment is surprising. Commitment is rewarding. If you have ever opened your heart, HOURGLASS, with its elegant, moving vignettes, will undoubtedly leave you alternately laughing and weeping.

Buy the book: Hourglass: Time, Memory, Marriage by Dani Shapiro (Alfred A. Knopf, $22.95)


Allison Fabian Derfner
Allison Fabian Derfner is a freelance writer and editor who served most recently as Features Director at Harper’s Bazaar. Her work has appeared in numerous publications including Marie Claire and Cosmopolitan. Allison lives with her family in New York City