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Volume 26, Number 3 — March 2019

Mandy Catron's book a "must read'

June 27, 2017

Mandy Len Catron, originally from Abingdon, Virginia, has published her first book, "How to Fall in Love with Anyone: A Memoir in Essays." The book is published by Simon and Schuster and is being talked about as a "must read" for the summer.

Catron speaks Sunday Aug. 27 at 3 p.m., at Sinking Spring Presbyterian Church in Abingdon, Virginia, as part of the Sunday with Friends speaker series.

Catron lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, where she teaches English and creative writing at the University of British Columbia.

What really makes love last? Does love ever work the way we say it does in movies and books and Facebook posts? Or does obsessing over those love stories hurt our real-life relationships? When her parents divorced after a 28-year marriage and her own 10-year relationship ended, those were the questions that Catron wanted to answer.

The book explores the romantic myths we create and explains how they limit our ability to achieve and sustain intimacy. She takes a closer look at what it means to love someone, be loved and how we present our love to the world. She delves all the way back to 1944, when her grandparents first met in a coal mining town, to her own dating life as a professor in Vancouver, drawing insights from her fascinating research into the universal psychology, biology, history and literature of love.

Catron uses biologists' research into dopamine triggers to ask whether the need to love is an innate human drive. She uses literary theory to show why we prefer certain kinds of love stories. She urges us to question the unwritten scripts we follow in relationships, and she looks into where those scripts come from in the first place. And she tells the story of how she decided to test a psychology experiment that she'd read about — where the goal was to create intimacy between strangers using a list of 36 questions — and ended up in the surreal situation of having millions of people following her brand-new relationship.

Catron's writing has appeared in The New York Times and The Washington Post, as well as literary journals and anthologies. Her TEDx talks can be found at She writes about love and love stories at The Love Story Project ( Her article "To Fall in Love with Anyone, Do This" was one of the most popular articles published by The New York Times in 2015.

Catron is the daughter of Bo Catron and Rita Marceron.

Topics: Literature

The book is published by Simon and Schuster