Cover image for Infidelity : a memoir
Infidelity : a memoir
Pearlman, Ann.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
San Francisco, CA : MacAdam/Cage, [2000]

Physical Description:
248 pages ; 24 cm
Personal Subject:
Format :


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Material Type
Home Location
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HQ806 .P43 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

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Ann Pearlman's Infidelity is the true story of the devastating effects of marital betrayal on three generations of American women: her grandmother, her mother, and herself.

In seamless prose and a mesmerizing voice, the author paints rich scenes moving characters across the span of the twentieth century. Ann Pearlman mines a universal vein in her bluntly honest memoir of infidelity that resonates in countless marriages today.

In the 1960s, Ann fell in love with Ty, an African-American professional football player and artist. Over twenty-five years together, they obtained graduate degrees, forged dual careers, and raised children. As a psychotherapist, Ann wrote a book on the joys of sexual monogamy and embarked on an author's tour appearing on TV talk shows (Oprah, Donahue, Sally Jessy Raphael) as an expert on marriage. As the century drew to a close, Ann discovered her husband's affair with a married Japanese woman. Again, Ann was forced to revisit infidelity, an echo from previous generations.

Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

An unusually vivid and striking account of the effects of men's affairs on their wives and daughters, this memoir spans three generations of the author's Jewish family. The women are close and discuss the gambling, alcoholism and "Don Juanism" of their men, even with the younger girls present; they encourage the girls always to remain able to support themselves and their children. Pearlman's gift for characterization shines through in her portrayal of her intelligent and charismatic father, who explains Freud to her and her brother at family dinners, which are often served late because he secretly visits his mistress after work. Following the sage advice of her female relatives, Pearlman travels, takes lovers and earns her M.S.W. to become a therapist/counselor. "Determined not to redo my mother's marriage," she eventually marries an African-American football player and artist she is certain will remain faithful to her and to whom she can be faithful. After 30 years with him, and after having published a book on keeping the passion alive in a long-term marriage, however, Pearlman discovers her husband's affair with a married Japanese student in one of the university art courses he teaches. While the experiences of her clients in therapy hauntingly reflect her own, Pearlman gives herself one year to either save her marriage or end it. In compact sentences and chapters, Pearlman uses the present tense to bring scenes from all stages of her life to full-color vitality. This collection of vignettes coalesces into an immediate, personal story of depth and power, as gripping as a good novel. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved



The Story of Infidelity I was thrilled when my agent sold infidelity to Macadam/Cage for the launch of their new publishing company. Pat Walsh and Dave Poindexter's spirit-catching enthusiasm about their new publishing future quickened my exhilaration when they decided to make Infidelity the lead book of their inaugural season and pushed the pub date so that it could be released in nine months. The time of a pregnancy, I thought. Pat came to my house and fell in love with a picture of my mom, dad, and me when I was about three months old. The photo became the cover of the book. I took him dancing that night and I don't know if he's forgiven me yet for the pain in his legs! And then, a few weeks before pub date, Pat called with his contagious excitement because Infidelity received a star review from Publisher's Weekly . I didn't know the importance of this award and couldn't fully share his zeal and optimism. But it stimulated a forced auction for the paperback rights which sold to Gerald Howard at Broadway Books for the second highest sum that year after Egger's A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius . Hodder and Stoughton bought the hardback and the paperback and published Infidelity in both the UK and Australia. Lionsgate bought the movie rights. I went on a terrific road tour arranged by Carol Fass which included a national tour from NYC to Portland, Oregon with TV, radio, and press and provoked articles in O, Elle, Entertainment Weekly, Good Living, Weekend . It was a thrilling tour because of the enthusiasm of the interviewers and the audiences. Adultery is such an important subject and part of 65% of all divorces. Right before one TV appearance, Pat informed me Infidelity had been nominated for the Pulitzer and the National Book Award... of course I announced this on the program , live on-air, and even the host was geeked about this scoop. For part of the tour in San Francisco, my daughter, Elizabeth Hinton, came along and thus met Dave, and enjoyed the publisher's party as well as the tour, teasing me that I looked like a hyper weather girl after the make up man did his job before a TV appearance. I had been called a "mediagenic author with a platform," was versed in the politics of promotion and appeared on such national television as: "Oprah", "Donahue," "Sally Jesse Raphael," and "Oxygen", "Sonia Freedman," for my previous books. For Infidelity , an article I wrote appeared in O, The Oprah Magazine (Oct. 2000) All together for Infidelity , I appeared on 51 radio programs, 11 Television programs, 24 print media and 5 Internet sites mentioning infidelity. Broadway Books planned a second tour and the launch date was set for September 11, 2001. Broadway's publicity director told me there was a huge display of my book already set up in the Barnes and Nobles in the World Trade Center. I forgot all about the launch. I had delivered Elizabeth for her freshman year at NYU two weeks before the terrorist attack. In fact, it wasn't until three or four days later, that I even remembered the book launch now part of the rubble of the World's Trade Center. Unfortunately the Broadway tour was limp. Book conferences were empty; authors were reluctant to fly for their presentations, and flights had been cancelled. One radio interviewer asked me, "When we've just been attacked by terrorists, why should we concerned about adultery?" My only answer: "Well, I guess when it's happening to you, it feels like an attack on you and your family." At a reading, only one person attended and it ended up a therapy session as she had just discovered her husband was having an affair. However, in the UK and Australia there was much excitement about Infidelity. The U.K. Eve (July 2002) had a four page spread including pictures. Each country featured a cover article about my book, (in one case hiring a photographer to take pictures of me) in the Sunday magazine section of their largest newspaper. Good Weekend 's ( Morning Herald Sept 2001) was 51/2 pages. Life's the Observor Magazine was 6 full pages. Gerald Howard was thrilled! It was like being featured in the New York Times Magazine section. I did an international radio show with the BBC. Years passed. I forgot about the movie deal. My kids complained about the publicity, especially in the Ann Arbor newspapers and magazines. I reassured them that the movie rights were about to expire and so no one needed to worry about more publicity. But.... When I was in Mexico working on Inside the Crips and finishing up a scene of a riot in Corcoran prison yard, I hit an internet cafe and discovered an email from Pat. Lionsgate had exercised their option and the movie was in the works. In fact, shooting was scheduled in a month. Would I like to go to the set? Pat asked. Weirdly, the movie producers forgot it was a memoire and changed it quite a bit. Pat hadn't read the script but when he finished it, he'd send it to me. He wanted to give me the heads up. The next day, I received a long email from him. The producer set the movie in New Orleans, made my ex-husband white, changed all our names--I was now Kathryn--and I was the one who committed adultery with a Latino Jazz musician! And most weirdly of all, I did not want to be a mother. Obviously it was not my book. They flipped it 180 degrees. Pat enclosed the script as an attachment, but I couldn't download it. I'd have to wait till I returned to the U.S. I was surprised at my own lack of anger. Instead, I thought it was a huge irony. A movie about my life that was not my life. I didn't feel annoyed about the fact that the character that was sort-of-me committed adultery. The irony was too perfect, almost funny. Women commit adultery almost as much as men. Maybe the movie would open up the discussion. A few months later, right before Mardi Gras, I was in New Orleans in the Garden District on the set. I knew movies were collaborative art projects having done some work in theater and enjoyed seeing how they set the scene, how the very professional actors resettled themselves into their previous position to continue the scene. As much as they changed the plot, they left one scene completely intact from the book: I am a child sitting by the window, watching the street for my Daddy to return home. The little girl who played me was super excited both by getting to be in a movie, and now meeting the author of the book and the character she was playing all grown up. For me, here was an actual scene from my childhood, and yet the adult character movie-me grew up to be so different than the real-me. It was fun rewriting parts of the script, therapy scenes in particular. I was saddened when I heard MacAdam/Cage had been swallowed up by the tremendous changes in publishing in the last decade. They did a fabulous job of launching writers, cherishing, and preserving writing, while developing and preserving a notable backlist. Pat and Dave were always encouraging and supportive, especially to new writers and unconventional styles. I was especially saddened when I read that Dave Poindexter died. Here's a link to the blog I wrote about him. And now, here we are again. At the start of a new adventure. I'm thrilled that Infidelity is getting a rebirth and eager to see what excitement and voyages this new edition will take us on. Excerpted from Infidelity by Ann Pearlman All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.