There's more realistic heartbreak and misery in Richard Yates' sixth novel Young Hearts Crying (1984). The novel is organized into three parts. In the first part he shows the coupling and slow uncoupling of would-be poet Michael Davenport and his wealthy art-loving blue-blood wife Lucy. This section of the book is reminiscent of his greatest success, The Revolutionary Road. They decide to live off Michael's modest salary as a commercial writer despite the fact that Lucy has millions of her own money. They mix with other artistic types who have varying degrees of success-one a painter has early success and recognition as a painter. Perhaps, a spoof of the abstract expressionists that were rising to success in postwar ar America-people like Jackson Pollock. Mental health is a an issue in the novel as several characters seek out therapists and psychiatrists. Michael has a major mental breakdown post divorced that is more fully described in his section of the book. However, the divorce doesn't come without causalities in this novel, they have a young daughter Laura. The second section of the novel follows Lucy's attempts for happiness post-divorce. She has some bittersweet affairs and tries her hand first at acting at behest of her first lover a stage director, then writing, and finally painting before giving up on an artistic career. The writing section is quite entertaining as it clearly reveals that Yates was once a creative writing teacher himself, confirmed in his biography as a writing instructor at the New School. She is essentially unfulfilled and unhappy. The last section of the book follows Michael's post divorce life that begins with an affair with a younger woman and a psychotic episode that lands him in Bellevue Hospital for a year-later he has a relapse as a visiting scholar at a writing colony in New England. Finally, he meets a younger woman who adores him and remarries only to eventually divorce her as well. His quest for respectability and success as a poet has some modest success, but he eventually gives it up to teach for stability. His life is also unfulfilled and unhappy. However, we also see how his mental illness may have been passed onto his daughter and we see Lucy finally find peace as an activist with Amnesty International. Yates doesn't flinch from showing either character behaving badly or destructively, but somehow as a reader we still care about them and root for their success, which is inevitably will lead to failure. This book led me to look more closely into Yate's life and I learned that among other things he was a sort of mentor (aka a "writer's writer") to the "dirty realists" (Tobias Wolff, Raymond Carver, Richard Ford, Andre DuBus, etc...) who were the reading staples of my college years. There was a great essay about his career and how he went out of print after his death, "The Lost World of Richard Yates: Why a great writer from the Age of Anxiety disappeared from print" by Stewart O'Nan. However, his books did find new life and are now in print, perhaps inspired by the 1999 essay, but also due to the fact that his books were mentioned as inspiration for the TV show set in the 60s, Mad Men. Young Hearts Crying is another worthwhile story of heartbreak and disappointment from a writer who mined life's un-fulfillment for prose.