Love and the Novel (Hardback)

Life After Reading

Christina Lupton

A genre-defying love story that illuminates all love stories

'A subversive, brilliant and beautifully written book about love, play and power in fiction and in the well-read life' - Sarah Moss, author of Summerwater

'A delicious combination of critical thought and passionate personal experience.' - Tanya Shadrick, author of The Cure for Sleep

Romantic love was born alongside the novel, and books have been shaping how we experience and think about our most intimate stories ever since. But what do novels give us when our own lives diverge from the usual narrative paths?

Christina is a professor used to examining stories with a critical eye; until one day in middle age she finds herself falling in love and leaving her marriage for a romance with another woman. This involves a familiar enough tale, but when her new partner suffers a stroke, Tina begins to reflect on the sorts of love that novels rarely capture.

A heady mix of memoir, criticism and storytelling that draws on novels ranging from Pride and Prejudice to Price of Salt, Anna Karenina to Conversations with Friends, to illuminate the ways love and novels work, and show how some types of love, which don't race to a narrative end-point, might be the most important of all.

Publication date: 02/06/2022

£16.99

ISBN: 9781788166478

Imprint: Profile Books

Subject: Arts, Language & Literature, Biography & Memoir

Love and the Novel (Ebook)

Life After Reading

Christina Lupton

Preorder from

A genre-defying love story that illuminates all love stories

'A subversive, brilliant and beautifully written book about love, play and power in fiction and in the well-read life' - Sarah Moss, author of Summerwater

'A delicious combination of critical thought and passionate personal experience.' - Tanya Shadrick, author of The Cure for Sleep

Romantic love was born alongside the novel, and books have been shaping how we experience and think about our most intimate stories ever since. But what do novels give us when our own lives diverge from the usual narrative paths?

Christina is a professor used to examining stories with a critical eye; until one day in middle age she finds herself falling in love and leaving her marriage for a romance with another woman. This involves a familiar enough tale, but when her new partner suffers a stroke, Tina begins to reflect on the sorts of love that novels rarely capture.

A heady mix of memoir, criticism and storytelling that draws on novels ranging from Pride and Prejudice to Price of Salt, Anna Karenina to Conversations with Friends, to illuminate the ways love and novels work, and show how some types of love, which don't race to a narrative end-point, might be the most important of all.

Publication date: 02/06/2022

£13.99

ISBN: 9781782837664

ISBN 10 / ASIN: B093TNC5P5

Imprint: Profile Books

Subject: Arts, Language & Literature, Biography & Memoir

Reviews for Love and the Novel

'An utterly addictive - sometimes caustic, sometimes tender - account of a midlife lurch in a new direction. ... I loved Lupton's bold reading of the defining events in her life through the literature she loves and teaches - each book a gateway to self-revelation, and sometimes transformation.'

Marina Benjamin, author The Middlepause

'Tina Lupton's eloquent account of an unexpected real-life plot twist marries critical prowess and a gripping story, in an honest and fantastically insightful book.'

Laura Kipnis, author of 'Love in the Time of Contagion' 

'Lupton's unsparing memoir forces us to re-examine the lives lived on our bookshelves and in our heads.'

Leah Price, author of 'What We Talk About When We Talk About Books' 

'In this eloquent, captivating conversation between memoir and criticism, Christina Lupton also offers a mesmerizing love song to the experience of reading in its own right.'

David James, author of Discrepant Solace 

'Such a rich exploration of love in all its forms (marital, adulterous; for children, friends). I love how Christina Lupton summons an iconic cast of our favourite fictional lovers ... even as her own desires carry her far beyond many of their teachings. A delicious combination of critical thought and passionate personal experience.'

Tanya Shadrick, author of 'The Cure for Sleep' 

'A subversive, brilliant and beautifully written book about love, play and power in fiction and in the well-read life'

Sarah Moss 

'Do novels help us know how to love? Is middle-aged passion worth upending your life and stability for? Instead of turning to shrinks to solve our romantic travails, clearly we should be turning to literature professors. Tina Lupton's eloquent account of an unexpected real-life plot twist marries critical prowess and a gripping story, in an honest and fantastically insightful book.'

Laura Kipnis, author of 'Love in the Time of Contagion' 

'Interspersing self-examination with an equally gripping analysis of the texts that have made and remade their reader, Lupton's unsparing memoir forces us to re-examine the lives lived on our bookshelves and in our heads.'

Leah Price, author of What We Talk About When We Talk About Books 

'What happens when you fall in love and discover in yourself such urgency to be with your beloved that you overturn all the certainties and structures of your life? What next?This haunting and highly personal account is studded with memorable insights into dozens of the novels about love and loss that long shaped Lupton's professional and personal life, but its true contribution is to show us how and why even the most impassioned reader can't ultimately take novels as a blueprint for living.'

Jenny Davidson, author of 'Reading Styles: A Life in Sentences' 

'A memoir, as formidably intelligent as it is forcefully felt, about a life spent reading about love, which turned out to be the best preparation for letting "the pleasure of all scripts fall away" and discovering how to love differently'

Kevin Brazil, author of ‘What Ever Happened to Queer Happiness?’ 

'Love and the Novel is an utterly addictive - sometimes caustic, sometimes tender - account of a midlife lurch in a new direction. As Christina Lupton falls in love with a woman and contemplates turning her family's world upside down, she learns that life, like fiction, is far from linear. In so far as it lends itself to fictional plotting, it is a place of many rooms. I loved Lupton's bold reading of the defining events in her life through the literature she loves and teaches - each book a gateway to self-revelation, and sometimes transformation.'

Marina Benjamin, author The Middlepause

Christina Lupton

Christina Lupton

Christina Lupton grew up in communes in London and Australia, dropped out of school at 15 and recovered her taste in study to take a degree in critical and cultural theory at the University of Sussex and then to do a PhD at Rutgers in New Jersey. She has taught English Literature at universities around the world and written on novels and the history of reading, including in her book, Reading and the Making of Time (2018). She is currently a Professor at the University of Warwick, but is on leave while serving as the Dean of Modern Languages at KU in Copenhagen. She lives in that city with her partner and children.