Books

Thoughts on My Wife’s Affair by Nancy Woodruff

As a writer, it is difficult for me to read a novel without questioning the author’s choices. I wondered why Nancy Woodruff wrote My Wife’s Affair from the husband’s perspective. It seemed gimmicky. But the passage: “Writing is a solitary craft. We are always on the outside, looking in, looking longingly but never belonging, and maybe that’s why we become writers, committing ourselves to a sort of sanctioned life gazing into others’ brightly lit picture windows while standing in our own perpetual dusk” (114), suggest Woodruff isn’t writing from the perspective of a man as much as from the perspective of a writer. She contrasts Peter’s isolation as writer with Georgie’s extroverted life as an actress wife. Peter watches. He is an observer. Events happen around him. So it is natural that her affair would be experienced from outside the “brightly lit picture window.” Woodruff uses both forms of art – writing and acting – to examine the choices an artist must make. Georgie risk it all. Peter gave up. In the end, they both lose.

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