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Biography & Autobiography Personal Memoirs

The Ex-Boyfriend Yard Sale

Finding a Formula for the Cost of Love

by (author) Haley McGee

Doubleday Canada
Initial publish date
Feb 2022
Personal Memoirs, Women, Relationships
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Feb 2022
    List Price

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In this hilarious and heartfelt memoir, Haley McGee sets out to calculate—with mathematical precision—the exact cost of love, and whether all of her former relationships were worth it.

Haley McGee is in debt. The solution? A yard sale of gifts from her ex-boyfriends.

But when it comes to pricing, she gets stuck. Surely the ways we invest in our romantic relationships should be reflected in the price. But how? Is the mixtape from your first love worth more than the vintage typewriter from a philanderer? Does sitting on an X-Acto knife wedged between seats on a bus to see the boyfriend you lost your virginity to increase or decrease the value of the necklace he gave you? Should you be compensated for the miserable times or do they render an item worthless?

Haley decides to gamble on a larger payout. She interviews her exes and enlists the help of a mathematician to create a formula—with eighty-six variables—for the cost of love. As she's searching for answers, the one that got away reappears with a new proposition.

Female desire, heartbreak and the chance for integrity in the aftermath of both are held up in this whipsmart, original and daringly candid memoir. As Haley McGee interrogates her romantic triumphs and failures with unflinching detail and hilarity, her exquisite prose elevates this all too human conundrum: Is love worth it?

About the author

Haley McGee is an actor and writer. Born and raised in Kitchener-Waterloo, she lived in Toronto for twelve years before relocating to London (UK), where she's currently based. Her solo shows have toured extensively internationally, receiving four and five-star reviews, enjoying sold-out performances, and winning awards. As a writer, Haley has developed new work for the stage with Battersea Arts Centre, Camden People's Theatre, The Stratford Festival of Canada, The Banff Playwrights Colony and the Tarragon Theatre. She has received commissions from Camden People's Theatre, Wilderness Festival and Common Boots Theatre. Haley teaches artists how to create their own solo shows in her Solo Show Creation Lab. She holds a BFA in Acting from Ryerson University and was a member of the Second City Conservatory.

Haley McGee's profile page

Editorial Reviews

Named one of the best biographies of 2022 by Indigo

"Illuminating. . . . McGee's writing is smart, punchy and natural. She is brutally candid about the way women are privately. . . . There is wisdom here beyond her thirties. . . . McGee asks incisive questions about our unions, past, present and future." —The Globe and Mail

"This memoir is one of the smartest, funniest books I’ve read about love in a long, long time." RED

"Exceedingly witty." The Independent
"Illuminating." Metro (UK)
"Haley McGee is a force to behold on stage—disarming, hilarious, unabashedly intense. Now she's channeled her unique voice into a totally original and captivating memoir about money, theatre, capitalism and relationships. The Ex-Boyfriend Yard Sale is not only a heartbreaking testament to the unquantifiable marvel of romantic love, but also a beautiful account of struggling as an artist in an expensive city—of making art, no matter the cost." —Martha Schabas, author of My Face in the Light
"I suspect it's only a matter of time until Haley McGee is a household name. And frankly, that time can’t come soon enough." —Jordan Tannahill, author of The Listeners

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