In this funny, brainy, thoroughly engaging debut collection, an award-winning writer looks at romance through the lens of scholarly theories to illuminate love in the information age.
In ten captivating and tender stories, E. J. Levy takes readers through the surprisingly erotic terrain of the intellect, offering a smart and modern take on the age-old theme of love—whether between a man and woman, a man and a man, a woman and a woman, or a mother and a child—drawing readers into tales of passion, adultery, and heartbreak. A disheartened English professor’s life changes when she goes rock climbing and falls for an outdoorsman. A gay oncologist attending his sister’s second wedding ponders dark matter in the universe and the ties that bind us. Three psychiatric patients, each convinced that he is Christ, give rise to a love affair in a small Minnesota town. A Brooklyn woman is thrown out of an ashram for choosing earthly love over enlightenment. A lesbian student of film learns theories of dramatic action the hard way—by falling for a married male professor. Incorporating theories from physics to film to philosophy, from Rational Choice to Thorstein Veblen’s Theory of the Leisure Class, these stories movingly explore the heart and mind—shooting cupid’s arrow toward a target that may never be reached.
E. J. LEVY is the author of Love, In Theory, which received the 2011 Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction and the Great Lakes Colleges Association’s New Writers Award. Her work has appeared in the Paris Review, the Missouri Review, Gettysburg Review, the New York Times, and Best American Essays and has received a Pushcart Prize and Nelson Algren Finalist Award among other honors. She is also the author of the memoir Amazons: A Love Story and editor of Tasting Life Twice: Literary Lesbian Fiction by New American Writers, which won the Lambda Literary Award. Levy teaches in the MFA Program at Colorado State University.