The Crane Wife

“Will I ever be young and beautiful and pregnant by the sea?

“I will not, I will not, I will not.”

CJ Hauser, The Crane, Wife Book Cover

That’s CJ Hauser interrogating CJ Hauser, which tells you (nearly) everything you need to know about this entrancing memoir-in-essays about looking for love — and finding yourself in the process. Struggling to understand why she’s a serial dater of people deemed “undateable by the more reasonable public,” Hauser sees answers nearly everywhere she looks: on Martha’s Vineyard where she’s trying surreptitiously (and illegally) to spread her grandparents’ comingled ashes, at a gaudy doctor’s office, where she accompanies a friend who’s trying to become single mother, in a mirror maze at Syracuse’s Destiny Mall, where she’s celebrating Valentine’s Day with a boyfriend who’s still hung up on his ex-wife. The Crane Wife is a Zeitgeisty romp through Hauser’s well-stocked brain, from Shakespeare to SNL

If you liked “The Crane Wife,” a viral essay from the Paris Review in 2019, then you’ll devour The Crane Wife. It’s about the stories we humans tell ourselves, the ones that sustain and sabotage us. It’s about trying to find happiness for oneself without causing too much pain for others. In sum, it’s a brilliant and beguiling take on the age-old question of how to live. 

Still not convinced? Then read The Crane Wife for the simple reason that nearly everyone you know between the ages of 18 and 40 is talking about it right now.

CJ Hauser, author of The Crane Wife

A member of Colgate’s creative writing faculty, Hauser is the author of two novels, The From-Aways and Family of Origin, in addition to The Crane Wife. Her writing has appeared in Tin House, Narrative, Esquire, the Kenyon Review, the New York Times, the Guardian, and elsewhere. Raised in Connecticut, she earned an MFA from Brooklyn College and a PhD from Florida State University.

“I grew up in Connecticut, a place where the most horrifying thing you can do is make someone else uncomfortable or create a scene or ruffle feathers,” says CJ Hauser in her three-question Living Writers interview about The Crane Wife.

Meet CJ Hauser at Colgate on Sept. 15

We’re sorry that you missed CJ Hauser’s visit. If you’d like to see an archived copy of her presentation, please join the Living Writers mailing list.

Tell Us What You Think

We’re sorry that you missed our Sept. 12 discussion about The Crane Wife with author CJ Hauser. You can listen to a recording of the first 10 minutes below.

Follow the discussion on Twitter @ColgateLW using the hashtags #ColgateLivingWriters and #TheCraneWife

Go Beyond the Book

  • According to this New York Times review, “The Crane Wife will satisfy and inspire anyone who has ever asked, ‘How did I get here, and what happens now?’”
  • Think of The Crane Wife “as rehab for road-weary romantics,” writes the Guardian’s reviewer.
  • “If it’s just one person full of feelings in a bad situation, that’s an anecdote. But if it’s a bazillion people, what’s going on?” asks CJ Hauser, in this Time interview.

Living Writers is organized by the Department of English at Colgate University with generous support from the Olive B. O’Connor Fund as well as the President and Provost/Dean of the Faculty. 



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