Thursday, October 4, 2012

Love, In Theory, Ten Stories by E.J. Levy

Love, In Theory: Ten Stories
by E.J. Levy
University of Georgia Press
209 pages 

All I needed to hear was that E.J. Levy's debut collection of short stories won the Flannery O'Connor Award for Short Fiction, and I was immediately sold.

Absolutely, I said to Trish of TLC Book Tours. You may definitely send a review copy my way.

You see, I'm rather selective these days about accepting books for review. But any collection that is worthy of comparison to Flannery O'Connor (whose writing I love) is one that I am interested in reading.

Love, In Theory lived up to that promise. I would compare Ms. Levy's style in these stories more to Lorrie Moore - who is also among my favorite writers - but that's no matter. With the exception of two stories that didn't quite grab me, these were really, really good. And maybe it was just me, but it somehow seemed that the stories got better as the collection progressed.

As the title promises, the theme of these ten stories involve "a smart and modern take on love" (as the book jacket accurately states). Also from the book jacket, a description of the stories:
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 Theory 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. 
Love, In Theory would be a good collection of short stories for those who are usually reluctant to read short stories. Also, I feel like I say this in every review of a short story collection that I love, but I'll say it again: I think short stories are a great introduction to a new author's work and in this case, I hope we see much more of E.J. Levy's writing. She is a talent to watch.

E.J. Levy's website is here.

See what other bloggers on the Love, In Theory tour had to say (with apologies to E.J. Levy, TLC Book Tours, and to my fellow Pittsburgh Blogger girlfriend Tiffany over at Tiffany's Bookshelf for encroaching on your review date for this. I'm not in the right frame of mind lately and completely forgot to post this yesterday.)

Thank you to TLC Book Tours for sending me a copy of Love, In Theory in exchange for my honest review. I was not compensated in any other way except for a copy of the book.

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Peppermint Ph.D. said...

I passed this one up when it came around bc I'm not a fan of short stories usually...but every review I've read so far makes me think passing it up was a mistake! Can't wait to check it out! :)

Heather J. @ TLC Book Tours said...

I'm so glad this one lived up to your expectations! Thanks for being on the tour.