Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
What Is This Thing Called Love?

What Is This Thing Called Love?

Stories

Gene Wilder

St. Martin's Press

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The actor and novelist answers this eternal question twelve ways, in stories that explore our most complicated emotion

This is a winning collection from an author writing on his favorite topic: love. Each emotionally involving story illuminates a different kind of love: star-crossed, intense, needy, eternal, unrequited, even comical. Gene Wilder's protagonists will be instantly recognizable to his fans: men and women who stumble into relationships that can fulfill them or knock them out cold. Which one it will be depends, often, on the smallest of gestures or reactions. What Is This Thing Called Love includes the stories:

• "In Love for the First Time," about a lover so shy and studious that he's a "funny duck" who has to be led by the hand by his equally inexperienced girlfriend

• "About Being in Love," featuring coarse but charming Buddy Silverman, who yearns for connection but looks for it in exactly the wrong kind of woman

• "The Woman in the Red Hat," who shows a writer who has only explored love in his books what the real thing feels like.

EXCERPT

The Birthday

Rumor has it that Buddy Silberman drove up to Caesars Palace one afternoon with his best friend, Sonny Hurwitz, and was seen at the craps tables that evening, where Buddy was overheard making a bet with Sonny that he was either...

Reviews

Praise for What Is This Thing Called Love?

“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

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About the author

Gene Wilder

Gene Wilder (1933-2016) began acting when he was thirteen and writing for the screen since the early 1970s. After a small role in Bonnie and Clyde pulled him away from a career onstage, he was nominated for an Academy Award as Best Supporting Actor for his role as Leo Bloom in The Producers, which led to Blazing Saddles and then to another Academy nomination, this time for writing Young Frankenstein. Wilder has appeared in twenty-five feature films and a number of stage productions. His first book, about his own life, was Kiss Me Like A Stranger, and was followed by the novels My French Whore, The Woman Who Wouldn’t , What Is This Thing Called Love? and Something to Remember You By.

Gene Wilder

From the Publisher

St. Martin's Press

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