Valentine’s Day. Two words that send bubbles of delight or shivers of despair. If you’re jilted, single, lonely, or simply anti-love, Valentine’s Day can be tough going. Dear Disaffected Lover, we have you covered. Instead of moping around your office cubicle and posting acrimonious Facebook status updates, head to the library or your local bookstore and find one of our suggestions of V-Day Books for the Disaffected Lover.
Anything by Cormac McCarthy
If there’s one writer whose relentless, brutal, gritty worlds are the antithesis of flowery, sugary sweetness, it’s Cormac McCarthy. Any McCarthy book will wipe the hopeful grin of young love from anyone’s face, but we especially recommend Blood Meridian and No Country for Old Men.
Against Love Poetry by Eavan Boland
In her collection of poems tackling the idealizations in traditional love poetry, Eavan Boland writes about quotidian human relationships with love and bodies that age. Toss aside Shakespeare’s sonnets and Keats’ yearnings and let Boland bring the realities of so-called “love” crashing around your shoulders. For extra fun, pair your reading of these poems with Laura Kipnis’ polemic Against Love.
Bad Marie by Marcy Dermansky
An ex-con. A Frenchman. The erotic ties that bind. (Sounds like a pitch for a Pedro Almodóvar movie, doesn’t it?) Marie’s seductive and enjoys the control her beauty gives her but doesn’t expect she’ll ever be seduced in return. Bad Marie is a nihilistic romp about a damaged woman who loves herself least of all.
Twilight by Stephanie Meyer
If there’s one thing to turn anyone permanently away from love, it’s the lust of a doe-eyed teenager for an ancient but bleeding heart vampire. Enough said.
What are your recommendations for the disaffected lover?