cover image Almost Romance: A Memoir

Almost Romance: A Memoir

Nancy Balbirer. Little A, $24.95 (194p) ISBN 978-1-5420-2282-8

In this heartfelt literary rom-com, playwright Balbirer (A Marriage in Dog Years) spins a waggish tale of her “almost” love story with her husband, TV producer Howard Morris. Weaving in witty missives between her and “Howie,” she traces their 32-year star-crossed relationship—from their stint as theater majors at NYU in the 1980s to the moment they became a couple in 2015. By then, Balbirer had been married, divorced, and had officially sworn off men after briefly dating a Hollywood director with a penchant for BDSM (recounting the affair to Howie, she writes, the guy “wax[ed] syllogistic about how my ‘vanilla ladylike mom-identity’... [was] the perfect yin to eroticism’s yang”). But that all changed when, over lunch one day, TV writer Candace Kahn revealed to Balbirer that Howie had shared her email about the kinky director with the whole Grace and Frankie writer’s room—and also confessed he’d been in love with Balbirer for decades. What follows is a touching and often laugh-out-loud funny chronicling of their pseudo-romance (think a real-life rendition of When Harry Met Sally) that sweetly ends with the two admitting “we had always been looking for each other” over, of course, a serendipitous weekend set up by their friends. Nancy Meyers and Nora Ephron fans will be utterly charmed. (Feb.)