My Essay in The Nervous Breakdown

I’ve been thinking for some time about female role models and am delighted The Nervous Breakdown published this piece.

From a reader

Jodi Cohen—writer, performer of original work and improv queen extraordinaire shared these thoughts with me after reading a galley of The Conditions of Love. These are the kind of comments every writer hopes for. What are we doing, as writers, if not trying to convey the individual and universal predicaments of human life? When a reader says about one of your characters, Me, too, we know by way of empathy and imagination we got it right!

So, Jodi, here’s a public thank you for YOUR words posted below.

grace paley has always hands down across the board been my favorite writer. you are now sharing that spot with her.

your book is so delicious. makes me fall in love with language.

i want to underline the parts i love, but it would all be underlined.

so much poetry. so much detail that is poignant, startling.

i love these characters–in all their glory, with all their flaws. the language. the turtle. Mr T.

AND, more formally, for a review

What a world Dale Kushner has created. Words don’t seem adequate to express such large, surround-sound feelings. I fell in love with this book, the story, the poetry on every page. I inhaled the book and felt like I spent these last days in nature, seeing and experiencing everything up close, my senses awakened, doused, indulged.

These characters were powerful–their flaws and their magnificence. How well and accurately Dale captured how we are all broken, and broken open, full of texture and dimension, so much of which is unseen to the eye and yet felt so deeply.

What a constellation I had access to, filled with these brilliant people, collages, all of them.

This book filled every chamber of my heart and made me fall in love with language all over again, made me want to write because I could suddenly hear my own inner songs. The Conditions of Love breathed new, good life into my lungs and under my skin.

What I want more than anything, as a reader, is to experience a story in a way that causes the inner plates to shift. This book did that. I am forever humbled, grateful.