Earlier this year we exclusively revealed the cover of Rosie Wilby’s writing debut Is Monogamy Dead?, which took its title from Rosie’s brilliant stand up show examining relationships and all the different ways you can conduct one.
As anyone who has been to one of her shows will know, Rosie is a natural story-teller. Addressing the subject of monogamy and its pitfalls whilst drawing from your own experiences with it must be, well, tricky. Because it takes two to be monogamous and Rosie opens up her own relationships, past and present, for this book.
Is Monogamy Dead? is a great read where anecdotes, research, experiments and confessionals are merged to question if, in a time when we are living longer, monogamy is doable or even the healthy option for relationships. There’s also a kind of bonus will-they-won’t-they thread throughout the book to keep you hooked.
This book also provides rather overdue insight into the politics of gay relationships, with a focus on the 1990s onwards. Therefore giving a much more comprehensive take on the subject of relationships without the heteronormative focus on equal marriage. As Rosie herself writes:
“It seems a pretty paradoxical poor-do for governments around the world to start allowing same-sex couples to marry but not be open to embracing, discussing and fully understanding the uniqueness of those partnerships. Thus far, the equality debate has been based upon a short-sighted and unsophisticated presumption of sameness. Yet being gay in a heteronormative world is akin to being left-handed in a world designed for right-handed people. And I should know. I am left-handed (apparently an unusually high proportion of gay women are).”
Whether you are polyamorous, monogamous, or just plain single I think you will learn something from this book, I for one thought I knew a lot about polyamory thanks to my poly friends, but not one of them had taken it upon themselves to alert me to the existence of the word ‘frubbly.’ For that I thank you Rosie Wilby. I thank you.
This is a book written with honesty and no judgement. Ultimately it’s comforting to know that everybody is apparently pretty baffled by relationships. Apart from Kate Smurthwaite. She’s on it.