Peek Inside a Widow’s Guide to Sex and Dating

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For at least a season or so of “Real Housewives of New York,” we’ve heard hyper-cool “housewife” Carole Radziwill talking about her novel. Well, here it is. Unlike most things that happen on reality shows (huge wink), this one’s actually real.


The Widow’s Guide to Sex and Dating: A Novel by Carole Radziwill. Amazon for $9.99. Claire Byrne is a quirky and glamorous 34-year-old Manhattanite and the wife of a famous, slightly older man. Her husband, Charlie, is a renowned sexologist and writer. Equal parts Alfred Kinsey and Warren Beatty, Charlie is pompous yet charming, supportive yet unfaithful; he’s a firm believer that sex and love can’t coexist for long, and he does little to hide his affairs. Claire’s life with Charlie is an always interesting if not deeply devoted one, until Charlie is struck dead one day on the sidewalk by a falling sculpture … a Giacometti, no less!

Once a promising young writer, Claire had buried her ambitions to make room for Charlie’s. After his death, she must reinvent herself. Over the course of a year, she sees a shrink (or two), visits an oracle, hires a “botanomanist,” enjoys an erotic interlude (or ten), eats too little, drinks too much, dates a hockey player, dates a billionaire, dates an actor (not any actor either, but the handsome movie star every woman in the world fantasizes about dating). As she grieves for Charlie and searches for herself, she comes to realize that she has an opportunity to find something bigger than she had before—maybe even, possibly, love.

Sometimes, a Blank Page is a Blank Page

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I’m having one of those days with this blog. You writers know exactly what I’m talking about, where there is not one remotely interesting idea in the entire cavern that is my brain.

So I’m going to write about that.

For a creative person, this dearth of ideas is a little unsettling. What if I’ve used up all the interesting thoughts I’ll ever have? What if that thing that rushes like a river sometimes, a calm brook at others, is now a choked trickle, soon to leave a dry river bed that can only be filled by watching reality TV?

Heaven forbid. Though Real Housewives of New York is coming back soon, so at least I’ll have that. I may not have creativity, but I’ll have the Countess, Carole and Ramona. Carole’s mostly the Greek chorus, in case you’re wondering.

Every time this happens, it feels like it’s never happened before. It feels like an end of something I’ve taken for granted, of something so prolific sometimes it requires hurried scribbles on the back of receipts and other random scraps of paper. It requires notebooks at all times.

But not today.