BOOK TOUR REVIEW: Love, in Theory: Ten Stories by EJ Levy
Love, in Theory: Ten Stories
by EJ Levy
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.
MY THOUGHTS: 3 OUT OF 5 STARS
This is my first collection of short stories I’ve ever had to review, so forgive me if this seems a little clunky…I’m not quite sure how to rate the entire book.
Love, in Theory is composed of ten short stories that deal with all kinds of love: new love, old love, husband and wife, mother and daughter.
Some of the stories were very good, while others were less than enthralling. My favorite was “Small Bright Thing”, in which both a mother and daughter must face that the other’s life is changing.
The author definitely has a gift for making you feel what the character is feeling, which is pretty cool since the characters across the stories are all so different and so many different emotions are present. She also has a knack for getting inside each person’s mind and making them confront things they don’t really want to. The characters, not the plot, are the heart of the stories.
I’m not entirely sure short stories are for me, but this offering was rather intriguing and I’m glad I read it. If nothing else, it concretes the idea that love is anything but straightforward.
About the Author
E. J. Levy is an award-winning writer. Her short stories and essays have appeared inBest American Essays, The New York Times,The Kenyon Review, and Paris Review, among other places, and have earned a Pushcart Prize, a Nelson Algren Award, a scholarship to Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, and twice been named among the year’s 100 Distinguished Stories in Best American Short Stories, among other honors. She is editor ofTasting Life Twice: Literary Lesbian Fiction by New American Writers (Avon), which won the Lambda Literary Award. This is her fiction debut.
To learn more, visit ejlevy.com.