Love Works Like This
Moving from One Kind of Life to Another
By Lauren Slater
(Random House, Hardcover, 9780375503764, 208pp.)
Publication Date: May 14, 2002
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“Is even the most clenched heart capable of it?” Lauren Slater asks about love, in this original, eloquent, and illuminating book about how we discover what love truly is. Slater, career-oriented and willfully autonomous, charts her own personal journey and decision-making process, starting with a list of the pros and cons, about having a child. The cons are many, the pros only one: “learning a new kind of love.” But what will that love look like? How does one reconcile the needs of the self with the demands of others? How do couples go from the dyad that is a marriage to the triad that is a family? And how can Slater adjust to losing precious control of her own carefully developed life?
Slater’s complex biological and psychological history also lies at the core of this unique and yet strikingly universal story. One of the first people ever to take Prozac, she chronicles the impossibly conflicting advice regarding pregnancy and antidepressants, and explains the rationale behind her eventual decision to stop taking the medication during her first trimester. This is Slater’s first encounter with self-sacrifice, and for her a crossroad at which modern medicine and basic human love meet.
Love Works Like This is a richly written book by “an enormously poetic and ebullient writer” (Elle magazine), an author who writes with “beauty and bravery” (Los Angeles Times Book Review) about falling in love, about growing into the ability to put someone else’s life ahead of your own, and about the rich rewards we can draw from the courage to exchange one kind of happy life for another.
A 1999 National Magazine Award nominee, Lauren Slater has a master’s degree in psychology from Harvard University and a doctorate from Boston University. Her work was chosen for the Best American Essays/Most Notable Essays volumes of 1994, 1996, 1997, 1998, and 1999. Her previous book, Lying, was chosen by Entertainment Weekly as one of the top ten nonfiction books of 2000. Slater lives with her family in Massachusetts.
Praise for Lauren Slater
“A consummately tricky and captivating book. It is difficult to believe, at times, and from the first page to the last, it is almost impossible to put down.”
—The Washington Post Book World, about Lying
“Like Oliver Sacks...Ms. Slater writes about her patients with enormous compassion and insight....A revealing memoir and thoughtful meditation on the therapeutic process itself...powerful.”
—The New York Times, about Welcome to My Country
“With the playful mind of a philosopher and the exquisite, unique voice of a poet, Slater renders a self-portrait that challenges our understanding of illness and health—and illuminates both.”
—The Washington Post Book World, about Prozac Diary
“Stunningly written...[Welcome to My Country] is relentless in its mask-stripping, yet instead of indulgence the act of revealing is handled with beauty and bravery.”
—Los Angeles Times Book Review, about Welcome to My Country
“The beauty of Lauren Slater’s prose is shocking....Slater’s vision is, ultimately, one of unity and possibility.”
—Newsday, about Welcome to My Country
“Evocative and moving...Slater is more poet than narrator, more philosopher than psychologist, more artist than doctor....Every page brims with beautifully rendered images of thoughts, feelings, emotional states.”
—San Francisco Chronicle, about Welcome to My Country
"I think Lauren Slater writes with truth and beauty about the risks and fears and joys of motherhood. From her unique perspective--the trained psychologist with the deep personal experience of mental illness, the carefully balanced professional woman who decides to head forward into motherhood, the lyrical writer who finds in even her most unexpected emotions a source of powerful images and poetry--she has created here a book which speaks both to her difficult and complex medical and psychologic journey toward motherhood and also to the universal experience of learning what it is to love a child."
--Perri Klass, author of Other Women's Children and Baby Doctor
"Slater lifts the gag order on prgnancy with candor, wit and a lyricism that stuns as well as instructs. Lauren Slater is a writer's writer--Love Works Like This reaffirms her obvious gift for language and empathy. A must-read for anyone finding themselves in the wondrous yet precarious position of motherhood."
--Suzanne Finamore, author of The Zygote Chronicles