In this timely, insightful, and darkly funny investigation, the acclaimed author of Against Love asks: what does living in dystopic times do to our ability to love each other and the world?
COVID produced new taxonomies of love, intimacy, and vulnerability. Will the cultural afterlife of Covid-19 be as lasting as that of HIV, which reshaped consciousness about sex and love in the intervening decades, even after AIDS itself had been beaten back by medical science? Will COVID end up making us more relationally conservative, as some think HIV did to gay culture? Will it send us fleeing into emotional siloes or coupled cocoons despite the fact that, pre-Covid, domestic coupledom had been steadily losing fans?
Just as COVID revealed the nation to itself, so did it hold a mirror up to our relationships. In Love in the Time of Contagion, Laura Kipnis (often hilariously) weaves her own (ambivalent) coupled lockdown experiences and those of others against a larger backdrop: the politics of the virus, economic disparities, changing gender relations, the ongoing institutional crack-ups prompted by #MeToo and #BLM, even as she maps their effects on the everyday routines and occasional solaces of love and sex.
About the Author
LAURA KIPNIS is a cultural critic and former video artist whose work focuses on sexual politics, aesthetics, shame, emotion, acting out, moral messiness, and various other crevices of the American psyche. Her seven books have been translated into fifteen languages. Kipnis is a professor at Northwestern University where she teaches filmmaking. Kipnis’s writing has appeared in The New York Review of Books,The Guardian, Slate, Atlantic,Harper’s, Playboy, the New York Times Magazine, the New York Times Book Review, and Bookforum. She lives in New York and Chicago.