When Phyllis Barber’s thirty-three-year marriage ended, she had to redefine herself as a woman, a mother, and an artist. Raw Edges is her moving account of the “lean years” that followed her divorce. It is interwoven with a narrative of the marriage of two gifted people that begins with “sealing” in a Mormon temple, endures through the birth of four sons and the development of two careers, and founders when the couple’s personal needs no longer match their aspirations or the rigid strictures of Mormon life. Raw Edges reflects the predicament that many women experience as their marriages disintegrate and they fail to achieve their own expectations as well as those set by their society and their faith. It is also a story of hope, of how a woman overcome by grief and confusion eventually finds a new approach to life.
Phyllis Barber is the award-winning author of seven books, including an earlier memoir, How I Got Cultured: A Nevada Memoir (University of Nevada Press). She taught at the Vermont College of Fine Arts MFA Writing Program for nineteen years and was inducted into the Nevada Writers Hall of Fame in 2005. She lives in Denver.
“This memoir shares a compelling story, often poetic and sometimes heartbreaking, rich with the makings of wisdom. . . . Barber is unquestionably a talented writer. She captures setting in vivid detail and evokes metaphors that are truly beautiful, even breathtaking.”-- Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought
“Raw Edges . . . tells the story of a woman redefining herself as a person and how her Mormon faith provided a unique experience on her journey to a new life. Moving and poignant, Raw Edges is a memoir well worth reading for insight on the life of a not-so-common Mormon woman.” -- Midwest Book Review
“Barber’s empathy and ability to articulate the emotions of divorce, loss, and struggle render her more than simply a regional or Mormon author, but an author of national scope.”-- ForeWord Reviews
“At a time when we’re accustomed to seeing failed relationships through the kaleidoscope of advice columns and talk-show gabbing, Barber takes divorce into the territory of literary art.”-- Salt Lake Tribune