Book of the Week

Each week, we'll let you know about the new releases the editors of O and couldn't stop reading.
The Hypothetical Girl

The Hypothetical Girl

256 pages; Other Press
What if you could be yourself and, at the same time, also anyone else you ever dreamed of? That's the question behind this collection of stories that reveals the humor, hope, woe and, most of all, imagination involved in online dating and the requisite profiles. There's the couple that fall in love via witty, sparkling emails only to meet and flee from each other in a coffee shop, then reunite down the road. There's the couple that keep catching each other in various lies (she's a minor actress, no, a waitress; he's an Icelandic yak farmer, no, a policeman) only to decide to preserve their relationship by never telling the truth. Clearly, this book is about the state of modern romance, but it's also about our timeless fascination with identity—a weighty subject that Cohen handles with intelligence and a dash of much-needed whimsical comedy. Case in point: the chat session between a polar bear and deer who "met on" that will unexpectedly move you, thanks to each animal's yearning—despite differences between their species—for some all-too-human understanding.
— Leigh Newman