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How to Fall in Love with Anyone : A Memoir in Essays
by Mandy Len Catron


Overview - 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) explores the romantic myths we create and explains how they limit our ability to achieve and sustain intimacy.  Read more...

 
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More About How to Fall in Love with Anyone by Mandy Len Catron
 
 
 
Overview
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) explores the romantic myths we create and explains how they limit our ability to achieve and sustain intimacy.

What really makes love last? Does love ever work the way we say it does in movies and books and Facebook posts? Or does obsessing over those love stories hurt our real-life relationships? When her parents divorced after a twenty-eight year marriage and her own ten-year relationship ended, those were the questions that Mandy Len Catron wanted to answer.

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.

In How to Fall in Love with Anyone Catron flips the script on love and offers a deeply personal, and universal, investigation.

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9781501137440
  • ISBN-10: 1501137441
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster
  • Publish Date: June 2017
  • Page Count: 256
  • Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.9 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.9 pounds


Related Categories

Books > Family & Relationships > Love & Romance
Books > Biography & Autobiography > Personal Memoirs
Books > Psychology > Interpersonal Relations

 
BookPage Reviews

Don't look away

Mandy Len Catron’s essay, “To Fall in Love with Anyone, Do This,” went viral after being published in the New York Times Modern Love column in 2014. In it, she details a study in which couples sit face to face, asking and answering progressively more personal questions. Six months after the study, two participants were married.

Catron tried the questions out with an attractive acquaintance named Mark, and lo and behold, they are now a couple. (She is the first to admit, in the last paragraph of the essay, that love didn’t happen to them because of the questions—they chose to be together.)

Now Catron is tackling the many facets of love in a book that builds upon her famous essay.

In truth, the book’s name is a bit of a misnomer. Catron, a professor in British Columbia, is not making the case, as the title suggests, that love is either random or formulaic. Rather, she examines what science tells us about the elements of lasting love, and explores why her Appalachian grandparents stayed married for life while her parents divorced after so many seemingly happy years and her own long-term relationship (pre-Mark) slowly crumbled.

She writes, “Deciding to break up, I thought, was like learning a star had burned out in a distant galaxy, even though you can still see it in the sky: You know something has irrevocably changed, but your senses suggest otherwise.”

Catron melds science and emotion beautifully into a thoughtful and thought-provoking meditation on the most universal topic.

This article was originally published in the July 2017 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.

 
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