Unreqited: Women and Romantic Obsession • Lisa A. Phillips

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Lisa A. Phillips • Unrequited: Women and Romantic Obsession

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The summer Lisa A. Phillips turned thirty, she fell in love with someone who didn't return her feelings. She soon became

obsessed. She followed him around, called him compulsively, and talked about him endlessly. One desperate morning,

after she snuck into his apartment building, he picked up a baseball bat to protect himself and threatened to dial 911. Her

unrequited love had changed her from a sane, conscientious college teacher and radio reporter into someone she barely

recognized—someone who had taken her yearning much too far.

In Unrequited, Phillips explores the tremendous force of obsessive love in women's lives. She argues that it needs to be

understood, respected, and channeled for personal growth—yet it also has the potential to go terribly awry.

Interweaving her own story with frank interviews and in-depth research in science, psychology, cultural history, and

literature, Phillips describes how romantic obsession takes root, grows, and strongly influences our thoughts and


Going beyond images of creepy, fatally attracted psychos, male fantasies of unbridled female desire, and the platitudes of

self-help books, Phillips reveals a powerful, troubling, and surprisingly common phenomenon. As she illuminates this

mysterious psychological experience, placing it in a rich and nuanced context, she offers compelling insights to help any

woman who has experienced unrequited obsessive love and been mystified and troubled by its grip.


"What Phillips, a former radio journalist turned SUNY professor, has given us is an ingenious hybrid of memoir,

case study, scientific inquiry and intellectual history not only of unrequited love but of Love, full stop, with a

capital L."

-The Washington Post 


"The heart, indeed, is a lonely hunter. As Phillips shows, the hunt may be more engrossing, more thrilling, but

more disappointing than the catch. Unrequited lovers will learn they are not alone, and they will also acquire

useful tips on ways of letting go for good."

- Booklist