An insightful, charming, and absolutely fascinating memoir from the author of the popular New York Times essay, “To Fall in Love with Anyone, Do This,” (one of the top five most popular New York Times pieces of 2015), How to Fall in Love with Anyone explores the romantic myths we create and explains how they limit our ability to achieve and sustain intimacy. In a series of candid, vulnerable, and wise essays that takes a closer look at what it means to love someone, be loved, and how we present our love to the world, Catron deconstructs her own personal canon of love stories. She delves all the way back to 1944, when her grandparents first met in a coal mining town in Appalachia, to her own dating life as a professor in Vancouver, drawing insights from her fascinating research into the universal psychology, biology, history, and literature of love. She uses biologists’ research into dopamine triggers to ask whether the need to love is an innate human drive. She uses literary theory to show why we prefer certain kinds of love stories. She urges us to question the unwritten scripts we follow in relationships and looks into where those scripts come from in the first place. And she tells the story of how she decided to test a psychology experiment that she’d read about—where the goal was to create intimacy between strangers using a list of thirty-six questions—and ended up in the surreal situation of having millions of people following her brand-new relationship.
Through September 30, purchase a 6-month Rumpus Book Club subscription (or a yearly Letters in the Mail subscription) and we’ll send you your own signed paperback copy of How to Fall in Love with Anyone*. Already have a subscription? Just extend or convert it and we’ll send you the book! Or give the gift of reading to a friend and keep the signed book for yourself! Click here to subscribe today!
“A beautifully written and well-researched cultural criticism as well as an honest memoir.” – Los Angeles Review of Books
“Honest and well-researched, the book will teach readers plenty about love, science, and themselves. Perfect fodder for the romantic and the cynic in all of us.” – Booklist
Originally from Appalachian Virginia, Mandy Len Catron now lives in Vancouver, British Columbia. Her writing has appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, The Rumpus, and The Walrus, as well as literary journals and anthologies. She writes about love and love stories at The Love Story Project, and she teaches English and creative writing at the University of British Columbia. How to Fall in Love with Anyone: A Memoir in Essays is her first book. It was recently long-listed for the 2018 RBC Charles Taylor Prize.
Photograph of Mandy Len Catron © Jennilee Marigomen.
*Offer valid while supplies last. Due to shipping costs, this offer is only available for US subscriptions.
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We’re going to try to only read great books. We’ll fail sometimes. The books will often be hardcover, but not always. Occasionally they’ll be paperback originals. Some books we’ve featured in the book club include Wild by Cheryl Strayed, An Untamed State by Roxane Gay, Insurrections by Rion Amilcar Scott, Abandon Me by Melissa Febos, Marlena by Julie Buntin, We Are Never Meeting in Real Life by Samantha Irby, Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado, and Heart Berries by Terese Mailhot. Upcoming writers include Idra Novey, Tom Barbash, Esmé Weijun Wang, T. Kira Madden, and more.
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