Fic­tion

22 Min­utes of Uncon­di­tion­al Love

  • From the Publisher
September 1, 2019

Judith is an ambi­tious book edi­tor in her late twen­ties in New York City. Inex­pe­ri­enced with roman­tic love, she works hard, sees small groups of friends and fam­i­ly for Shab­bat and din­ner gath­er­ings, and vis­its Dr. Munch, her beloved ther­a­pist. Her life changes the instant she meets Howard Rose, a charis­mat­ic lawyer thir­teen years her senior with whom she becomes sex­u­al­ly obsessed. He calls her at work, instructs her on what to wear to din­ner, and takes con­trol of her body and sex­u­al­i­ty with com­plete own­er­ship. Judith becomes depen­dent on the push-pull of their sex­u­al entan­gle­ment and on Howard’s atten­tion and approval, con­vinced she’s found the man of her dreams. Until that is, she under­stands he’s the man of her night­mares: hos­tile, reck­less, and manip­u­la­tive, he seems intent on oblit­er­at­ing any sense of self and auton­o­my that Judith pos­sess­es. Escap­ing Howard’s grasp and her own per­verse enjoy­ment of being under his con­trol becomes her mis­sion. Styl­is­ti­cal­ly var­ied and punc­tu­at­ed by provoca­tive rumi­na­tions on love, fam­i­ly, sex, gen­der, and rela­tion­ships, 22 Min­utes of Uncon­di­tion­al Love is a psy­cho­log­i­cal­ly vora­cious descent into sex­u­al obses­sion, the sto­ry of the haz­ardous extent to which one woman will go to achieve erot­ic bliss, and of her resolve to reclaim her agency.

Discussion Questions