Love Illuminated: Exploring Life's Most Mystifying Subject (with the Help of 50,000 Strangers)

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9780062211163: Love Illuminated: Exploring Life's Most Mystifying Subject (with the Help of 50,000 Strangers)

From the editor of the New York Times' popular "Modern Love" column, the story of love from beginning to end (or not).

Love. We want it. We need it. We pay it homage with songs and poems and great works of art. And when we lose it, there's no pain as intense or excruciating. For centuries we've been trying to figure it out, control it, or just get better at it. As the editor of a column about love for the New York Times, Daniel Jones reads thousands of stories about people's intimate relationships—the ones that soar, crash, or hum along, from the bizarre to the supposedly “normal.” It's possible that he's read more true love stories than anyone on earth. In Love Illuminated, he teases apart this mystifying emotion that thrills, crushes, and sustains.

Drawing from the 50,000 stories that have crossed his desk over the past decade, Jones explores ten aspects of love—pursuit, destiny, vulnerability, connection, trust, practicality, monotony, infidelity, loyalty, and wisdom—and creates a lively, funny and enlightening journey through this universal human experience that jangles the head and stirs the heart. 

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From the Back Cover:

Love is unrivaled in its power to thrill, crush, and sustain. No subject in human history has been more thoroughly examined. And yet, as desperately as we have tried to unlock love's mysteries—to "decode" it through scientific experimentation, philosophical inquiry, and even mathematical algorithms—do we really understand love any better today than Shakespeare did nearly five hundred years ago?

As the editor of a column about love in the New York Times, Daniel Jones has been privy to the deepest personal revelations of tens of thousands of strangers. Deluged with stories of scheming cheaters, hopeless romantics, racy texts, and fierce devotion, he has spent much of the past decade wading through love's muck and majesty—and has taken plenty of notes along the way. In Love Illuminated, he uses his unique perspective to tease apart life's most mystifying subject.

Drawing from the 50,000 tales of love that have crossed his desk, Jones traces the arc of human relationships through ten phases, starting with the pursuit, destiny, vulnerability, connection, and trust of new love, and then turning to the practicality, monotony, infidelity, loyalty, and wisdom of love matured. With empathy and wry humor, he takes readers on an enlightening journey through the highs, lows, and enduring unknowns of this universal experience that rattles the head and stirs the heart.

As Jones explains, "Love is about curiosity, not certainty. It's about tossing oneself overboard into the wild seas, not remaining safely on deck."

In Love Illuminated, he pulls us into the depths of love in all its contradictions and complexities, offering glimmers of understanding along with the comforts of shared experience.

About the Author:

Daniel Jones has edited the Modern Love column in the Sunday Styles section of the New York Times since its inception in October 2004. His books include two essay anthologies, Modern Love and The Bastard on the Couch, and a novel, After Lucy, which was a finalist for the Barnes & Noble Discover Award. His writing has appeared in the New York Times, Elle, Parade, Real Simple, Redbook, and elsewhere. He lives in Northampton, Massachusetts, with his wife, writer Cathi Hanauer, and their two children.

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