My Wife Is Always Right: The European Man’s Guide to a Happy Marriage – Kamenko Kesar
Translator: Noah Charney
Slovenian humorist and best-selling author, Kamenko Kesar (yes, his name sounds strange even to Slovenes), offers up a collection of 63 essays about (mis)adventures of married life. At once insightful, warm and very funny, they are the perfect gift for the man in your life, and for men, they offer a helpful “survival” guide to marital bliss.
A Slovenian humorist explores the ups and downs of romance in this collection of essays.
“Women,” Kesar writes, “almost certainly inadvertently crush our fragile egos. And we men drag that pain, like a ball and chain, from relationship to relationship in an endless tangle of utter disaster.” Rife with self-deprecating stories, from being allergic to a girlfriend’s perfume that made him sneeze during intimate moments to dealing with an ill-timed delay in the shipment of an engagement ring, the author offers readers real-life, comic examples of romance gone wrong. Now married with children, he also provides a tongue-in-cheek guidebook for marital bliss, most of which circles back to the titular refrain, “My Wife Is Always Right.” Divided into three parts, the book delivers 63 short essays that present witty vignettes about Kesar’s romantic misadventures. Part 1 centers on his dating life before marriage, including one essay about his disdain for lingerie as an unnecessary “frilly, lacy barrier between two people getting to know each other.” Part 2 focuses on the author’s engagement to his wife, their wedding, and “The Honeymoon that Involved Neither Honey nor the Moon.” The volume’s final section (“Life Together”) examines the ubiquitous story of fiery lovers whose relationship after marriage must adapt to routines, work schedules, and child rearing. Still, Kesar and his wife still manage to keep the flame lit, despite the author’s romantic stumbles and prickly facial stubble. The work concludes with a description of “The Four Secrets to a Happy Marriage,” which blends sincere insights (have common interests and “make compromises”) with humor. Originally published in Slovenian, the book features Charney’s English translation, which holds up well in maintaining the nuances of Kesar’s jokes. While the volume’s European sensibilities, from its open approach to sex to weekend jaunts to Barcelona, may not always resonate with American audiences, its focus on marriage will have a wide appeal. Although often genuinely funny, the work leans heavily on the tropes of sex-obsessed men and their begrudging wives that will have limited resonance for readers who reject heteronormative relationships and traditional gender roles.
Amusing essays about love, sex, and marriage.