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  • Published: 3 May 2022
  • ISBN: 9781593766993
  • Imprint: Catapult
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 320
  • RRP: $37.00

The Red Zone

A Love Story



A searching, galvanizing memoir about blood and love: how learning more about her period, PMS, PMDD, and the effects of hormones on moods transformed her relationships—to a new partner, to family, to non-blood kin, and to her own body—from the beloved essayist and author of Women

Chloe Caldwell’s period has often felt inconvenient, uncomfortable, or even painful. It’s only once she’s in her thirties, as she’s falling in love with Tony, a musician and single dad, that its effects on her mood start to dominate her life. Spurred by the intensity and seriousness of her new relationship, it strikes her: her outbursts of anxiety and rage match her hormonal cycle.

Compelled to understand the truth of what’s happening to her, Chloe documents attitudes toward menstruation among her peers and family, reads Reddit threads about PMS, attends a conference called Break the Cycle, and learns about premenstrual dysphoric disorder, PMDD, which helps her name what she’s been going through. For Chloe, healing isn’t about finding a single cure. It means reflecting on underlying patterns in her life: her feelings about her queer identity and writing persona in the context of a heterosexual relationship; how her parents’ divorce contributed to her issues with trust; and what it means to blend a family.

The Red Zone is a candid, revelatory memoir for anyone grappling with controversial medical diagnoses and labels of all kinds. It’s about coming to terms with the fact that—along with proper treatment—self-acceptance, self-compassion, and transcending shame are the ultimate keys to relief. It’s also about love: how challenging it can be, how it reveals your weaknesses and wounds, and how, if you allow it, it will push you to grow and change.

  • Published: 3 May 2022
  • ISBN: 9781593766993
  • Imprint: Catapult
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 320
  • RRP: $37.00

Praise for The Red Zone

The Red Zone showcases Chloe Caldwell at her best, with her trademark blend of humor and vulnerability. This is a special book, skillfully balancing practical knowledge and artistic deftness, and sharpness with sweetness.” —Juliet Escoria, author of Juliet the ManiacThe Red Zone is an intense, informative, highly entertaining book about the menstrual cycle, sexism, bickering, divorce, marriage, stepmotherhood, holistic gradual self-healing, and the layered effort to move from impulsivity and fear to stability and growth.” —Tao Lin, author of Leave SocietyThe Red Zone: A Love Story is a period memoir as only Chloe Caldwell could write it, with warmth and particularity and charm. I smiled in recognition every few pages, read parts angrily aloud to my husband as though they were his fault, and laughed loudly enough at others to wake up my dogs. Yes, it's a love story, but The Red Zone is also an adventure, which may sound like a strange descriptor for a book about PMDD until you have experienced it through Caldwell's wry, piercing, fundamentally optimistic eyes. Both personal and communal, searching and exuberant, The Red Zone will speak to anyone who has been led by pain, curiosity, or misdiagnosis to become a detective of her own body.” —Kristi Coulter, author of Nothing Good Can Come from This “Finally (finally!) someone wrote a book about struggling to understand your body and your heart and finding the answers on the internet. This book is moving, funny, and impossible to put down. Caldwell reveals the messiness of life in a way few writers can pull off.” —Chelsea Martin, author of Caca Dolce: Essays from a Lowbrow Life

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