All About Love: Anatomy of an Unruly Emotion

BOOK: All About Love: Anatomy of an Unruly Emotion

Lisa Appignanesi was born in Poland and grew up in France and Canada. She is former Deputy Director of the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London, was President of English PEN and is Chair of the Freud Museum. She is General Editor of Profile Books’ Big Ideas series.



A prize-winning novelist and writer, she co-authored
Freud’s Women
and has written many bestselling novels. Her family memoir,
Losing the Dead
received critical acclaim and her book on the history of the Mind Doctors from 1800 to the present day,
Mad, Bad and Sad
, was shortlisted for four prizes, won the Medical Journalists’ Association Open Medical Book Award and the 2009 British Medical Association Award for the Public Understanding of Science.



She has been made a Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in recognition of her contribution to literature. Lisa Appignanesi lives in London.

Also by Lisa Appignanesi

Mad, Bad and Sad: A History of Women and the Mind Doctors from 1800 to the Present


Free Expression is No Offence (ed)


Freud’s Women (with John Forrester)


Losing the Dead


Simone de Beauvoir


The Cabaret


Femininity and the Creative Imagination: Proust, James and Musil




The Memory Man


Kicking Fifty


Unholy Loves


Paris Requiem




The Dead of Winter


The Things We Do for Love


A Good Woman


Dreams of Innocence


Memory and Desire




The Rushdie File (with Sarah Maitland)


Dismantling Truth (with Hilary Lawson)


Science and Beyond (with Stephen Rose)


Ideas from France: The Legacy of French Theory



All About Love

Anatomy of an Unruly Emotion

Lisa Appignanesi


W. W. Norton & Company

New York • London

Copyright © 2011 by Lisa Appignanesi


Copyright acknowledgments on page 403 constitute
an extension of this copyright page.


All rights reserved


For information about permission to reproduce selections from this book,
write to Permissions, W. W. Norton & Company, Inc.,
500 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10110


Production manager: Anna Oler


Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data


Appignanesi, Lisa.
All about love: anatomy of an unruly emotion /
Lisa Appignanesi. — 1st American ed.
p. cm.
Includes bibliographical references and index.
ISBN: 978-0-393-06945-7
1. Love. 2. Marriage. I. Title.
BF575.L8A67 2011




W. W. Norton & Company, Inc.
500 Fifth Avenue, New York, N.Y. 10110


W. W. Norton & Company Ltd.
Castle House, 75/76 Wells Street, London W1T 3QT


To my loved ones and those they love


Over the years I have learned so much from so many on the subject of love that my acknowledgements could extend for the length of this book. I owe a debt to all the novelists, thinkers, commentators and individuals who appear in its pages, as well as to my family and friends. Many, in the course of its writing, have put up with indiscreet probing as well as with long conversations, or consented to more formal interviews. To name even some of them is not enough, but it is the best I can do here. So my thanks for all their help, their ideas, their encouragement extend to Devorah Baum, John Berger, David Borenstein, Judit Carrera, Marie-Noelle Craissati, Maria Duggan, Eva Hoffman, Derek Johns, Helena Kennedy, Hari Kunzru, Hanif Kureishi, Darian Leader, Suzette and Helder Macedo, Giovanni Menegalle, Maxine Molyneux, Jasmine Montgomery, Susie Orbach, Lianna Schwartz-Orbach, Renata Salecl, Gillian Slovo, Martha Spurrier, Deborah Thom, Marina Warner and Lisa Wood.

I owe special thanks to Adam Phillips for his ever stimulating thoughts and conversation. My children, Josh Appignanesi and Katrina Forrester, have been particularly scintillating informants on the ways and waverings of their generation: their subtlety and provocation are a constant inspiration. Since we are all in our own way experts on love, none of the above will necessarily agree with what I have made of my subject.

I am grateful to Monica Holmes, an early and sagacious reader, and to Jamie Martin who helped patiently with the details of footnotes and bibliography.

Lennie Goodings, as ever, proved an ideal editor, encouraging and perceptive. My great thanks go to her and to Clare Alexander, my talented agent, as well as to Angela von der Lippe, my New York editor, whose acuteness and discernment are a constant boon. I am also grateful to Elise Dillsworth at Virago and my copy-editor Sue Phillpott.

And finally, my partner John Forrester put up with my moans and groans about love over the course of the book’s making. He has been both a stalwart companion and a meticulous reader, making good my lacks and dotting my real and metaphorical i’s.

Lisa Appignanesi
London, November 2010

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