We have a superb selection of interviews devoted to the best books on love, exploring this complicated phenomenon in all its aspects. Jenny Davidson, professor of English and Comparative literature at Columbia, chooses her best love stories. Skye Cleary, philosopher and author of Existentialism and Romantic Love, delves into the philosophy of love; she ponders, among other things, whether love is a choice. On a more practical level, therapist Mira Kirshenbaum chooses her best books on relationship therapy and stresses the importance of understanding a relationship’s dynamics as a system in order to overcome or avoid problems. Ella Berthoud, a bibliotherapist, discusses her practice and love and relationships; TV presenter Riz Kahn chooses his best books on enduring love.
On the subject of love's more negative aspects and complicated consequences, novelist Katie Kitamura chooses her best books on marriage and divorce in literature; historian Nancy Goldstone talks about strong (mainly royal) women in bad marriages; and the poet and novelist Evan Zimroth chooses her best books on adultery. Taking a more broadly historical view, war correspondent Janine di Giovanni looks at love, war and longing.
Ars Amatoria, or The Art of Love
by Ovid, translated by Rolfe Humphries
From Front Porch to Back Seat: Courtship in Twentieth-Century America
by Beth L. Bailey
Dataclysm: Love, Sex, Race, and Identity — What Our Online Lives Tell Us about Our Offline Selves
by Christian Rudder
Modern Romance: An Investigation
by Aziz Ansari
The Curious History of Dating: From Jane Austen to Tinder
by Nichi Hodgson
“Love,” wrote Ovid, “is no assignment for cowards.” Cultural critic Mia Levitin talks us through the history of seduction from the Classical era, through ballroom dancing, calling cards and into the present age of swiping on our mobile phones. Here she recommends five of the best books for those braving the modern dating scene.
From Jane Austen to James Baldwin, the best love stories in literature recommended by Jenny Davidson, novelist, historian and Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University.
The Philosophy of (Erotic) Love
by Edited by Robert C Solomon and Kathleen M Higgins
The Second Sex
by Simone de Beauvoir
Tête-à-Tête: The Lives and Loves of Simone de Beauvoir & Jean-Paul Sartre
by Hazel Rowley
Dialogue on the Infinity of Love
by Tullia d'Aragona
All About Love: New Visions
by bell hooks
What is love? Can you choose to do it? If love ends, was it really love? The author and academic Skye C Cleary selects five key texts that deal with philosophy of love, whether romantic, erotic, familial or platonic.
Love and marriage may go together like a horse and carriage, but what happens when the horses are spooked and the whole procession is run off the road? Katie Kitamura, whose new novel A Separation charts the disastrous—and tragic—failure of a marriage, considers some of literature’s most heartfelt accounts of relationship failure
Systems thinking is key to figuring out how relationships work, says Mira Kirshenbaum, psychotherapist and clinical director of the Chestnut Hill Institute. She chooses the best books to help us understand modern relationship therapy.
The author of The Maid and the Queen takes us on an enjoyable ride through European history, looking at well-connected women who outwitted their husbands or asserted their independence.
Bibliotherapist Ella Berthoud prescribes some reading for love. Rekindle your relationship, remember first passions and beware obsessive love with help from these suggestions.
Television presenter Riz Khan chooses books on enduring love. Wuthering Heights, Remains of the Day, John Irving and Julian Barnes all make the list
War reporter tells us that her life is permeated with sense of loss and longing. She quotes her heroine Martha Gellhorn: “I have a sudden notion of why history is such a mess. Human beings do not live long enough”
The poet, novelist and author of memoirs explores parallels between faith in the divine and commitment to a worldly erotic passion, and books that show you can have purity within licentiousness