“A treat for any book lover, happily mated or cheerfully single” (USA TODAY)—two popular journalists give hilarious relationship advice borrowed from the most famous characters in literature.
Finding love should be easier than ever before, given all the freedoms we enjoy. But as it turns out, the more options we have, the more difficult attaining romantic bliss becomes. We wonder: Should we put all our energy into online dating, or hang out in bars to find someone new? Should we settle for a friendship-with-benefits, or refuse to stop looking until we happen upon true love? And if we do manage to achieve the impossible and find a perfect match—soul mate, sexual dynamo, and best buddy all in one—how can we beat the relationship doldrums when they come, as they’re bound to in this hyperactive society?
In our quest to reach romantic nirvana, we turn to self-help manuals, magazines, talk shows, friends, relatives, and shrinks. But we’ve overlooked the true font of wisdom: the timeless stories written by great novelists. That’s where Much Ado About Loving comes in. In its pages, two book lovers who are also advice columnists—Maura Kelly and Jack Murnighan—relay the lessons in life and love that they’ve learned from reading more classic novels than your English teacher, while having far more romantic conundrums than all of Jane Austen’s characters combined. They’ve done the heavy reading—and the recovering from heartbreak—for you.
Jack Murnighan has a Ph.D. in medieval and renaissance literature from Duke University. His book, Beowulf on the Beach helped tens of thousands of readers rediscover their love of the classics. His two previous books, The Naughty Bits and Classic Nasty, were critically acclaimed tours of sexuality in the history of literature. He lives in New York City.
Maura Kelly has been a staff writer for Glamour, a daily dating blogger for Marie Claire, and a relationships columnist for amNew York. Her work has appeared in publications like The New York Times, The Washington Post, More, The Boston Globe, and Rolling Stone. She received her BA in psychology from Dartmouth College and her MFA in creative writing. She lives in New York City.