Uncommon Arrangements by Katie Roiphe

  I’ve always been interested in how sucessful people are in their marriages. This book by Katie Roiphe takes a look inside the marriages of seven well-known couples during their time. Mostly writers and creatives, these couples have uncommon arrangements that define their marriages. Successful or not, this book captures how couples can redefine how they live by changing meanings, set-ups and beliefs that would suit the kind of life they were looking for. 

Quotes from the book:

“Marriage is time.” -joan didion

To leave a marriage is to lose time: it is like voluntarily shaving years off one’s own life. And then, of course, there is the other maverick, inexplicable substance holding seemingly happy people together: love.

The supreme importance of habit, the inertia of accumulated life, the fidelity toward one’s former self, cannot be underestimated. 

What is the act of putting feelings into words? In part it serves to clear the mind, as HG Wells wrote of his detailed autobiography: “I want to get these discontents clear because I have a feeling that as they become clear thet will either cease from troubling me or become manageable and controllable.” […] in writing one master’s the experience, one tames and controls it. 

Over and over the couples in the pages of this book believed that if they labeled their relationship […], they could control and organize their intimate lives. 

It’s also quite interesting how people then kept letters and memoirs that allow for memories and experiences to be preserved. 


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