The best books on Dating, recommended by Mia Levitin

“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.

Katie Kitamura on Marriage (and Divorce) in Literature

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

Deborah Levy on Motherhood in Literature

Aristotle tells us that all politics starts in the family, and nowhere is that more obvious than in the infamously fraught relationship between mother and daughter. Here, the novelist, playwright and poet Deborah Levy chooses five books – or rather, four books and one film – that explore motherhood.

The best books on Fatherhood, recommended by Kyle Pruett

Fathers and mothers play very different roles in a child’s development, says Kyle Pruett, Clinical Professor in the Child Study Center at Yale School of Medicine—and both are essential. He recommends books on fathers and fatherhood—for both parents.

The best books on Brothers, recommended by Tim Lott

Novelist Tim Lott, whose autobiographical book Under the Same Stars lays bare a dysfunctional relationship with his brother, tells us about love and rivalry among siblings – and, from Cain and Abel on, the dark, even murderous, impulses that can be engendered between them.

Books About Suicide, recommended by Johanna Reiss

As a young Dutch Jewish girl, Johanna Reiss survived World War II hidden in the attic of a farmer called Johan Oosterveld. Her memoir of that time, The Upstairs Room, is still read in schools today. But while she was researching that book in 1969, her American husband, Jim, killed himself. In this interview, she recommends books on the painful subject of suicide, as well as the music that helped heal the pain.