Beyond the Book: Background information when reading The History of Love

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The History of Love

by Nicole Krauss

The History of Love
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  • First Published:
    May 2005, 252 pages
    Apr 2006, 272 pages

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Beyond the Book

Krauss spent her childhood on Long Island and has degrees from Stanford and Oxford.  Well into her twenties, she wrote poetry, which "felt like the great goal of the language (she was a lot like the 14-year-old narrator of The History of Love, Alma Singer, who wants to be a survivalist, compiles obsessive lists, and is an avid collector). Then she abruptly quit poetry having set aside "an impossible quest for poetic precision".

Her first novel, Man Walks Into a Room, was very well received and was followed by a six-figure, two-book deal. Speaking of her first book she says, "Getting a book published made me feel a little bit sad ...... I felt driven by the need to write a book, rather than the need to write. I needed to figure out what was important to me as a writer."  While she was writing The History of Love she says, "There was a real loosening of control. There was no end in sight, no synthesis at all...

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