Ten Novels or Short Story Collections which have the Word ‘Love’ in their Titles

 

Heart

The following fine works all have a form of the word ‘Love’ in their titles. But don’t expect everything to be all lovey-dovey in these fictions, because the word is often used ironically.

‘The Lives and Loves of a She-Devil’ by Fay Weldon (1983) – This is the ultimate marital vengeance tale.

‘Liars in Love’ by Richard Yates (1981) – As you discover or re-discover the fiction of Richard Yates, don’t forget his two excellent short story collections, ‘Eleven Kinds of Loneliness’ and ‘Liars in Love’.

‘Endless Love’ by Scott Spencer (1979) – Here is a story of obsessive passionate teenage love which proves quite infuriating to the girl’s father.

‘Love in the Time of Cholera’ by Gabriel Garcia-Marquez (1988) – This novel asks the question, “Is lovesickness a form of illness, comparable to cholera?” I should hope not.

‘Half in Love’ by Maile Meloy (2002) – These stories are based on the assumption that there is such a thing as one being “Half in Love”. It is probably the reasonable course compared to total obsessive love.

‘The Loved One’ by Evelyn Waugh (1948) – Here is a short humorous novel satirizing the Forest Lawn Cemetery and the funeral industry. It resulted from a trip by Evelyn Waugh to Hollywood where someone wanted to adapt one of his novels into a movie.

‘The Pursuit of Love’ by Nancy Mitford (1945) – “The Pursuit of Love” is a lively merry story about an unconventional family that will leave you smiling uncontrollably. Men who do not believe that women can do comedy should not read this novel; otherwise their illusions will be shattered.
“You are so lucky to have wicked parents.”

‘Conjugal Love’ by Alberto Moravia (1951) – This is a story of “conjugal passion, that odd mixture of violent devotion and legitimate lust”. Nobody wrote this kind of novel of sex and torment better than Alberto Moravia.

‘Enemies, A Love Story’ by Isaac Bashevis Singer (1966) – Here is a poignant but still humorous story of a Jewish survivor of World War II making a new life for himself in New York City. His life is enriched and complicated by three women.
“Herman always woke up shabby and rumpled, looking as if he had spent the night wrestling.”

Loving‘Loving’ by Henry Green (1945) – Henry Green, with his unique touching style, is a novelist who will restore your faith in fiction to delight you. ‘Loving’, an upstairs/downstairs novel, is one of his best.
“Prose is not to be read aloud but to oneself alone at night, and it is not quick as poetry but rather a gathering web of insinuations … Prose should be a long intimacy between strangers with no direct appeal to what both may have known. It should slowly appeal to feelings unexpressed, it should in the end draw tears out of the stone …”

Henry Green

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13 responses to this post.

  1. What a clever idea and nice collection of books!

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    • Hi Melissa,
      There is one more novel that I really did not want to leave off my list, so I will mention it here. It is “The Love Hunter” by Jon Hassler who was actually from the state of Minnesota where I currently live.. He was an excellent fiction writer, and I hope they will have a revivial of his work soon. “The Love Hunter” is one of his best along with “Staggerford” and “Grand Opening”.

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  2. I’ll second Melissa:) Very clever!
    Of your list, I’ve read Life and Loves of a She-Devil: it was my introduction to Fay Weldon and I went on to read all the rest of them in a kind of perverse Blytonmania. And Loving was my introduction to Henry Green, courtesy of Stu at Winston’s Dad (Interesting that, because he’s the champion of translated fiction yet he hosted Henry Green week, so I owe him.)
    Oh yes, and I read the Marquez, but I can’t stand his books so I’m not counting him.

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    • Hi Lisa,
      I remember when “One Hundred Years of Solitude” by Marquez came out. It transformed the writing of fiction, but not always in a good way.
      I discovered Henry Green back in the 1980s. I have a book that contains his three novels, “Living”, “Loving”, and “Party-Going”, and they are all amazing.
      I’ve read a few Fay Weldons, and like her work because it is different from others without being historical.

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      • I have a Henry Green threesome too, I bought it at the London Review Bookshop last year before my trip all went haywire. Mine has Nothing (which I’ve read), Doting and Blindness.

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  3. A great selection, Tony. It’s good to see the Fay Weldon on your list! I’m hoping to read some of Richard Yates’ short stories later this year. Eleven Kinds of Loneliness is in my TBR, but I quite like the look of Liars in Love too.

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    • Hi Jacqui,
      “Eleven Kinds of Loneliness’ was considered a masterpiece when it first came out in 1962. ‘Liars in Love’ came out much, much later in 1981. I found the stories in ‘Liars in Love’ to be just as good as ‘Eleven Kinds’, but by that time everyone had become familiar with Richard Yates’ style and the response wasn’t as overwhelming.

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  4. […] book blog (Tony's Book World) had the same idea but used less complicated criteria for selection to its list. They named books […]

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  5. Great list, Tony. I have the Waugh in my TBR after my friend Claire recommended it a long time ago.

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