What Is This Thing Called Love?
By Gene Wilder
(St. Martin's Griffin, Paperback, 9780312672799, 176pp.)
Publication Date: April 26, 2011
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For a romantic, it’s life’s ultimate question: What is This Thing Called Love? Actor and novelist Gene Wilder explores twelve possible answers in this emotionally involving book about different kinds of love: star-crossed, intense, needy, eternal, unrequited and even comical. With delicacy of feeling and a simple style that adds to the power of his fiction, Wilder creates memorable lovers and silly suitors, unexpected attraction and careful courting. What is This Thing Called Love? is for anyone who has ever yearned for a deep connection, made a study of love, and spent their life trying to find the real thing.
“A lighthearted reminder of love’s potential (requited, even unrequited) to make a life worthwhile.”—Los Angeles Times
Gene Wilder has been acting since he was thirteen and writing for the screen since the early 1970s. His first book, about his own life, was Kiss Me Like A Stranger, and was followed by two novels, My French Whore and The Woman Who Wouldn’t. Wilder lives in Connecticut with his wife, Karen.
Most people think of Gene Wilder as an actor, the star of movies such as The Producers and Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory. But he is also a writer. He joins us to talk about his career and his book of short stories, What Is This Thing Called Love? More at NPR.org
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'"It was cold and raining at four in the morning when Buddy walked out of Caesars Palace, stark naked except for the L.A. Times wrapped around his waist." These sweet, hilarious stories about love are dedicated to Gene Wilder's cousin Buddy: "When he was alive he really wanted love, but settled only for sex." Many are about the time wasted by lovers who choose to hide their true feelings — Jane Austen without the happy endings. "She pretended to be a big flirt and I knew she really wasn't." Some are about unrequited love: "I asked Melanie to marry me when she came to my house for dinner.… Melanie just giggled. I was three and a half years old." Others illuminate the myriad differences between book love or screen love and the real, awkward world of miscommunication and lost opportunities. All together, they serve as a lighthearted reminder of love's potential (requited, even unrequited) to make a life worthwhile.'--Los Angeles Times