Hourglass: Time, Memory, Marriage by Dani Shapiro


I’ve read all of Dani Shapiro’s memoirs (she has several) and so, of course, I read her latest one, Hourglass, where she reflects on her 18-year long marriage to her husband a former war reporter turned screenwriter. It is always a little weird to read so many memoirs about one person. You feel like you know them but of course, you don’t*. From reading her other work online, I know even more about Dani Shapiro.

This book dove into her marriage in a collection of very short passages, some only a paragraph or two interspersed with sections from her honeymoon journal. Both of them are now the parents of a 16-year-old, are both freelance writers and have to hustle to make ends meet. She admits that they have little to no savings and no retirement. Her husband says he will take care of it but he is 60 already so that makes Dani nervous. (I will say I have peeked on IMDB and it looks like her husband has two movies in production so hopefully, that will work out). She has other worries too, is she keeping her husband back from being who he really is by keeping him stateside while he had an exciting dangerous career before meeting her? It is a shame she is still worrying about this so many years in but I guess that is a memoirist for you, they are introspective.

A beautifully written memoir, although the format would be a bit tricky if you were someone who puts books down and walks away for awhile, as she does return the same topics and expands on them, sometimes many, many chapters apart.


*An aside: one time years ago, through a bizarre set of coincidences, I ended up at the house of another author whose memoirs I had read. It was surreal, her life was even more unusual than Dani Shapiro’s and here I was, in her house, with the dogs and kids I had been reading about for years! It was a very strange experience, to say the least.

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