cover image Arrangements in Blue: Notes on Love and Making a Life

Arrangements in Blue: Notes on Love and Making a Life

Amy Key. Liveright, $28 (240p) ISBN 978-1-324-09173-8

British poet and essayist Key (Isn’t Forever) takes an intimate, idiosyncratic look at single life in her evocative first memoir. Initially spurred by Joni Mitchell’s 1971 album Blue to examine her romantic relationships, Key ended up using the record as a lens through which to examine “so many shades of life.” Lyrics in “My Old Man” about big beds and frying pans prod her to cultivate peace while living alone. At 37, she felt an urgent need to have a baby and considered how and whether to become a mother by turning over Mitchell’s wrenching “Little Green,” which the musician wrote about a previously undisclosed pregnancy. Key describes how struggles with loneliness and singledom can give people “the power to make us the version of ourselves we long for,” and how she eventually found liberation in her solitude by way of Mitchell’s musings. Filled with lyrical turns of phrase, this insightful take on living solo will appeal to poets, dreamers, and anyone marching to the beat of their own drum. It’s a lush and moving memoir. (May)