The Hypothetical Girl is featured
as Oprah's "Book of the Week"
A new release the editors of O and Oprah.com couldn't stop reading.
some other works
"Love meets technology with a
dash of quirk in this collection of highly original short stories"
An aspiring actress meets an Icelandic Yak farmer on a matchmaking website. An online forum for cancer support turns into a love triangle for an English professor, a Canadian fisherman, and an elementary school teacher living in Japan. A deer and a polar bear flirt via Skype.
In The Hypothetical Girl a menagerie of characters graze and jockey, play and hook up in the online dating world with mixed and sometimes dark results. Flirting and communicating in chat rooms, through texts, e-mails, and IMs, they grope their way through a virtual maze of potential mates, falling in and out of what they think and hope may be true love. With levity and high style, Cohen takes her readers into a world where screen and keyboard meet the heart, with consequences that range from wonderful to weird.
The Hypothetical Girl captures all the mystery, misery, and magic of the eternal search for human connection.
Click play to listen to to Elizabeth talk about her new book.
Fiction - Short Stories (single author)
EXCERPT FROM "THE HYPOTHETICAL GIRL"
LISTEN TO ME TALK ABOUT THE BOOK
praise for the hypothetical girl
“Elizabeth Cohen’s stories, with their deep eternal truths, pop into the now with all the promise, hope,
of an IM from a secret love.”
- WENDY LAWLESS,
AUTHOR OF CHANEL BONFIRE
“These stories kick some serious ass. If you’re looking for love you’ll find it right here!”
- DAVID KIDD,
AND SCREEN WRITER OF
YOURS, MINE AND OURS
“Cohen has the eye of an anthropologist, the wit of a satirist, and the brevity of
- JILL EISENSTADT,
AUTHOR OF FROM
ROCKAWAY AND KISS OUT
and heartbreaking, Cohen’s stories tackle love and
all its discontents in a way you’ve never experienced before.”
- CAROLINE LEAVITT,
NEW YORK TIMES BEST-SELLING AUTHOR OF PICTURES OF YOU
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256 pages • ISBN: 978-1-59051-583-9
256 pages • ISBN: 978-1-59051-582-2
256 pages • ASIN: B00BE24UPE
Win a copy of
The Hypothetical Girl
Submit your best, worst, scariest
and most horrific 350 word love stories. I will post the weekly best on my blog.
The very best in each category will win a copy of my book, The Hypothetical Girl.
The fifteen tales are humane, if dark. Cohen maintains an edgy humor while looking clear eyed at what often goes wrong when her characters take risks. I found myself thinking that Cohen’s accomplishment is related to an adventure remembered by the protagonist of one of the stories, Alana in “Life Underground.” Alana recalls a childhood family trip into a cave. The tour guide showed them glittering, beautiful stalactites and stalagmites. He also brought them into an unlit chamber in the cave, letting them experience “real darkness, actual darkness, rare in our world.” Cohen’s stories, written with sharp humor and intelligence, are attuned to both light and dark.
The Hypothetical Girl deconstructs online dating and mediated communication while exploring the role of both feminism and femininity and the experiences of women in this new landscape. Cohen plays with the concept of beauty and how it affects and worries women exactly the same way it did before the creation of the Internet. Cohen proves herself a talented author, and these stories are an entertaining testament to that.
The Hypothetical Girl is packed full of excruciating online dating moments and interactions; it is these uncomfortable circumstances that make the stories so loveable. What single girl hasn't sent a text that she knew full well she shouldn't have sent? Cohen has a penchant for taking stomach-churning dating incidents and turning them into astute narratives. Throughout The Hypothetical Girl, I found myself cheering for Cohen's characters, hoping for the best -- for that ever-evasive happy ending -- but awkward encounter after awkward encounter proves to be a teachable moment. Love, and life, simply are not that easy.
reviews of the hypothetical girl
THE MASTERS REVIEW
Elizabeth Cohen’s HYPOTHETICAL GIRL is a humorous, often sad and at times dark, exploration of the world of online dating. In each of Cohen’s fifteen stories exists a truth about the human experience. How we search for love and why, how we perceive others and ourselves, and whether or not we’re worthy of love, are just to name a few. There is a repetitiveness to Cohen’s work that some might see as uninspired, but it is this cohesiveness that creates a platform for her characters to expand and contract, it is the starting ground for all the ways love can expose itself, how it can lift you up… or destroy you.
The pervasiveness of online dating speaks to a need in our society to connect with people more than ever, and the promise of doing so anonymously is undeniably appealing. However, at some point, to really pursue love, online daters must break the barrier between technology and the real world. The innumerable results are the product of Cohen’s imagination, which is poignant and honest, and which serves as the heartbeat for this wonderful collection.
FICTION WRITERS REVIEW
This week’s feature is Elizabeth Cohen’s story collection The Hypothetical Girl, which was published by Other Press. Cohen is the author of The Family on Beartown Road: A Memoir of Love and Courage (Random House, 2004), which chronicles Cohen’s life raising her young daughter and taking care of her father as he struggles with Alzheimer’s disease. It was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. She is also the author of numerous collections of poetry, including What the Trees Said (2013) and The Economist’s Daughter (2011). She is an Assistant Professor of English at SUNY Plattsburgh and she also regularly teaches fiction and nonfiction at Gotham Writing Workshop. She lives in upstate New York with her daughter.