“The Fixed Stars” by Molly Wizenberg— Identity, Sexuality and Family

Wizenberg, Molly. “The Fixed Stars”, Abrams Press, 2020.

Identity, Sexuality and Family

Amos Lassen

While serving on a jury, thirty-six-year-old Molly Wizenberg realized that she was drawn to a female attorney she hardly knew. At the time, she was married to a man and had been for ten years and the couple had a child. Wizenberg tried to return to her life as she knew it, but something inside her had completely changed. She learned that how we live our lives is not always as logical as we would think.  She understood that we are born with our

sexual orientation and it is part of who we are. Her life story soon became complicated and began to deal with this aspect of her life by accepting this new change.

In “The Fixed Stars” she explores important questions about who she was and who she is. She looks at desire, identity, and the limits and possibilities of family. She writes beautifully of her journey through  separation and divorce, coming out to family and friends, learning to co-parent a young child, and realizing a new idea of love.  She has let go of definitions that once seem fixed and ideals that had once been part of her but had changed as she came to terms with who she really was.

She writes candidly and that were times that I felt that we were sitting opposite each other as she shared her story. She became a friend who confiding in me in a very personal way, holding nothing back. Because she is so personal, I find it difficult to say how what she says has affected me.

Wizenberg has the ability to describe and express feelings while examining gender and sexuality and the way we speak about these and their meanings. She includes what others have previously written on the subjects and the differences among them. We see that sexuality is fluid. I am quite sure that this was not easy to put down on paper yet she is able to do so eloquently especially as she writes of

“her marriage; the love, care, and mutual respect they had for one another, along with the complexities that can bring relationships to an end.” The way we change is often unplanned and unexpected.  


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