“Separation Anxiety is a hilarious, heart-breaking and thought-provoking portrait of a difficult marriage, as fierce as it is funny.... My advice: Start reading and don’t stop until you get to the last page of this wise and wonderful novel." —Alice Hoffman
From bestselling author Laura Zigman, a hilarious novel about a wife and mother whose life is unraveling and the well-intentioned but increasingly disastrous steps she takes to course-correct her relationships, her career, and her belief in herself
Judy never intended to start wearing the dog. But when she stumbled across her son Teddy’s old baby sling during a halfhearted basement cleaning, something in her snapped. So: the dog went into the sling, Judy felt connected to another living being, and she’s repeated the process every day since.
Life hasn’t gone according to Judy’s plan. Her career as a children’s book author offered a glimpse of success before taking an embarrassing nose dive. Teddy, now a teenager, treats her with some combination of mortification and indifference. Her best friend is dying. And her husband, Gary, has become a pot-addled professional “snackologist” who she can’t afford to divorce. On top of it all, she has a painfully ironic job writing articles for a self-help website—a poor fit for someone seemingly incapable of helping herself.
Wickedly funny and surprisingly tender, Separation Anxiety offers a frank portrait of middle-aged limbo, examining the ebb and flow of life’s most important relationships. Tapping into the insecurities and anxieties that most of us keep under wraps, and with a voice that is at once gleefully irreverent and genuinely touching, Laura Zigman has crafted a new classic for anyone taking fumbling steps toward happiness.
About the Author
Laura Zigman is the author of Animal Husbandry (which was made into the movie, Someone Like You, starring Hugh Jackman and Ashley Judd), Dating Big Bird, Piece of Work and Her. She has been a contributor to The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Huffington Post, produced a popular online series of animated videos, "Annoying Conversations," and was the recipient of a Yaddo residency. She lives in Cambridge with her husband, son, and deeply human Sheltie.
“I love Separation Anxiety.... Laura Zigman is an emotional sharp-shooter—she is able to home in on the most tender, revealing, exquisitely painful aspects of our relationships with others and with ourselves. And somehow she manages to come out the other end with hope, having found what was most meaningful after all. And by the way, I can totally relate to the desire to wear one’s dog. If I could, I would.”
— Chelsea Handler
“Separation Anxiety is a hilarious, heart-breaking and thought-provoking portrait of a difficult marriage, as fierce as it is funny....[Zigman’s] sharp eye for contemporary life is a revelation....My advice: Start reading and don’t stop until you get to the last page of this wise and wonderful novel.”
— Alice Hoffman
"What a gem of a novel. Separation Anxiety is wickedly funny, heartrending, poignantly wise, and hopeful. It's laced with moments of self-doubt and marital mayhem, but also the many small daily acts of mercy and heroism that love inspires, though we too often overlook them. The main character, Judy, is hilariously offbeat, yet very easy to identify with, honest and thoughtful, and I loved spending time with her."
— Diane Ackerman, author of The Zookeeper's Wife
“Sometimes a book finds its way to you and you just know instantly that this is the book you need now. That’s how I feel about Separation Anxiety. I think it’s the book everyone needs right now. It is compassionate and funny, articulating with gentle humor the terrible things that we’re all grappling with. To steal a phrase from my daughter, it made me happy-cry.”
— Laura Lippman
“Separation Anxiety is as hilarious and painful as life itself. Laura Zigman’s latest novel takes on the (sometimes surreal) trials of middle age with wit and compassion—pitch-perfect, it’s a joy to read.”
— Claire Messud, bestselling author of The Burning Girl and The Emperor’s Children
"In Separation Anxiety, Laura Zigman has given voice to the exquisite nuances of the struggles we all face in the course of our lives and at the same time leaves us feeling less alone and more hopeful. With striking humor, tender vulnerability, and pitch-perfect portraits of the complexities of our relationships, she's captured the human condition in a way I often don't see outside of the therapy room."
— Lori Gottlieb, New York Times bestselling author of Maybe You Should Talk To Someone