Laura Kipnis is a professor of media studies at Northwestern University. She has received fellowships and grants from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts. She has published many essays and articles on sexual politics and contemporary culture both here and abroad.
Adulterers aren't naughty; they're social theorists looking to remake our beliefs regarding intimacy and the primacy of work before play. Kipnis, a media studies professor at Northwestern who stirred controversy with a Harper's article on adultery in 1985, keeps the pot boiling. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
"Engagingly acerbic . . . extremely funny. . . . A deft indictment
of the marital ideal, as well as a celebration of the dissent that
constitutes adultery, delivered in pointed daggers of prose."
"It's about time someone blew apart our idealistic notions about relationships and love." -New York Post
"A timely, entertaining cherry bomb of a book. . . . Smart, witty and withering." -The Boston Globe
"Wonderfully clever, deliciously written. . . . Kipnis blends journalistic pizazz and philosophical nerve . . . Whether you agree or not, Kipnis' crackling colloquial style keeps Against Love rollicking forward, often hilariously. . . . It's hard to imagine even the fiercest champion of wedded bliss not enjoying the provocations of this book." -Philadelphia Inquirer
"If you think of 'family values' as something more, better and different from simply loving the people in your family, avoid this book for fear of apoplexy." -The Washington Post
"Reading Against Love, I felt invigorated half the time and plunged into the deepest, most morose pit of self-pitying despair the rest of it-in other words, I felt as if I were in love. This seems to have been Kipnis's aim." -Salon
"In this ragingly witty yet contemplative look at the discontents of domestic and erotic relationships, Kipnis . . . combines portions of the slashing sexual contrarianism of Mailer, the scathing antidomestic wit of early Roseanne Barr and the coolly analytical aesthetics of early Sontag. . . . With a razor-sharp intelligence and a gleeful sense of irony, Kipnis dismantles the myths of romance surrounding monogamy." -Publisher's Weekly
"Wittily invigorating. . . . [Kipnis] possesses the gleeful, viperish wit of a Dorothy Parker and the energetic charisma of a cheerleader. She is dead-on about the everyday exhaustion a relationship can produce." -Slate
"A person would need a heart of stone not to rejoice at the drubbing [Kipnis] delivers. . . . Funny and astute . . . much of the writing is informed and bracing, amplifying ideas about social control derived from Engels, Marx, Nietzsche, Freud, Weber, Raymond Williams, Foucault and Adam Phillips." -Chicago Tribune
"[Kipnis is] a talented social satirist." -Weekly Standard
"Against Love is a wonderfully provocative book, daring and incisive, written with verve and no small amount of humor. It raises a thousand questions most of us lack the courage to ask, about domestic life and even the meaning of the human enterprise, while remaining at every instant a delight to read." -Scott Turow
"Kipnis's treatise reads like a brisk, sophisticated novel about the beginning, middle and end of an adulterous affair. . . . [A] bravura book." -Times Literary Supplement (London)
"This book is trouble . . . and the worst thing is that Kipnis is so convincing. A vastly entertaining and smart work of social criticism. Kipnis demonstrates her brilliance at the [polemic] form . . . playing a heretic in the chapel of love. An unsettling and witty deconstruction of love and marriage." -NPR, Fresh Air
In this ragingly witty yet contemplative look at the discontents of domestic and erotic relationships, Kipnis (Bound and Gagged: Pornography and the Politics of Fantasy in America) combines portions of the slashing sexual contrarianism of Mailer, the scathing antidomestic wit of early Roseanne Barr and the coolly analytical aesthetics of early Sontag: "Aren't all adulterers amateur collagists? We're scavengers and improvisers, constructing odd assemblages out of detritus and leftovers: a few scraps of time and some dormant emotions...." With a razor-sharp intelligence and a gleeful sense of irony, Kipnis dismantles the myths of romance surrounding monogamy and makes the case for why adultery is a reasonable, often used, escape hatch. Kipnis is often most funny when at her most provocative ("Feel free to take a second to mull this over, or to make a quick call: `Hi hon, just checking in!' "), but even her moments of sarcastic humor can have a sobering effect, as when Kipnis considers the reasons behind the public's obsessive need for reading about real and fictional stories of spousal murders, noting that "perhaps these social pathologies and aberrations of love are the necessary fallout from the social conventions of love." Kipnis is adroit at detailing (sometimes with "notoriously unreliable" sexual self-reporting statistics) how our desire for fidelity is often at odds with basic human needs for personal freedom, and is terrific in dissecting how-or so Kipnis's case goes-"family values" politicians like Newt Gingrich fail miserably to live up to their own rhetoric. In the end, she concludes that adultery and fidelity have to exist side-by-side: "let's face it: purity always flirts with defilement." Kipnis balances her scintillating, on-target observations on straying with an honest sense of compassion for human experience. (Aug. 26) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.