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Recommendation for a book on jealousy in romantic relationships?
November 20, 2011 1:25 PM   Subscribe

I'm looking for novels that explore jealousy in romantic relationships, particularly featuring a partner who is jealous or insecure about the other person's romantic past. Ex-boyfriends/ex-girlfriends haunting the relationship would be excellent. Any recommendations? ("Literature" preferred--i.e., trashy novels aren't my thing.)
posted by melancholyplay to Education (25 answers total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
 
Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
posted by luciddream928 at 1:31 PM on November 20, 2011


Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier springs to mind. The second Mrs de Winter (whose name we never know) lives in the shadow of her predecessor for much of the story.
posted by essexjan at 1:32 PM on November 20, 2011 [6 favorites]


2nding Rebecca. That was the first thing that came to mind.
posted by SisterHavana at 1:34 PM on November 20, 2011


Ok, maybe throwing the whole literature thing to the wind here, but this is a major component of the Scott Pilgrim series.
posted by yellowbinder at 1:36 PM on November 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


The Broom of the System by David Foster Wallace.

Also, in a way, Lolita by Nabokov.
posted by phrontist at 1:42 PM on November 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


Julian Barnes's Before She Met Me deals with this.
posted by HandfulOfDust at 1:43 PM on November 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


Some of this in Margaret Atwoods's The Robber Bride.
posted by Catseye at 1:43 PM on November 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte.
posted by gudrun at 1:48 PM on November 20, 2011 [3 favorites]


I can't resist mentioning season 3 of Vampire Diaries-- the first half of the season, up to Ghost World, has two actual ghosts of girlfriends hanging out and causing problems.

Being slightly more helpful, Nerilka by Anne McCaffrey.
posted by Margalo Epps at 1:50 PM on November 20, 2011


The Rabbit books by John Updike, starting with Rabbit, Run.
posted by thinkpiece at 1:53 PM on November 20, 2011


the Dud Avocado by Elaine Dundy
posted by Ideefixe at 2:05 PM on November 20, 2011


This is an important theme in Sarah Waters, The Night Watch, which is a beautiful book.
posted by lapsangsouchong at 2:10 PM on November 20, 2011 [3 favorites]


Also in a way, The Sorrows of Young Werther by Goethe
posted by rhizome at 2:14 PM on November 20, 2011


Peony in Love by Lisa See
posted by trunk muffins at 2:20 PM on November 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


Her Fearful Symmetry, by Audrey Niffenegger. Layer upon layer of jealousy.
posted by Lulu's Pink Converse at 2:33 PM on November 20, 2011


THE LANTERN by Deborah Lawrenson.
posted by motsque at 2:42 PM on November 20, 2011


Othello is the origin story for this kind of thing.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 3:18 PM on November 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


The Dubliners by Joyce
posted by DeltaForce at 3:26 PM on November 20, 2011


Jane Eyre by Currer Bell, er, Charlotte Bronte.
posted by smirkette at 3:31 PM on November 20, 2011


I think that DeltaForce is specifically referring to the story "The Dead" from Dubliners.
posted by Morrigan at 3:45 PM on November 20, 2011


The End of the Affair by Graham Greene
posted by martianna at 4:43 PM on November 20, 2011


Nightwood, by Djuna Barnes
posted by emilycardigan at 8:12 PM on November 20, 2011


Another Julian Barnes recommendation: Talking It Over. Two men in love with the same woman. It's a great book, with some really witty but truthful dialogue.

There's a sequel, called Love Etc that I keep meaning to read. Julian Barnes deals with jealousy and other complex parts of relationships really well.
posted by indienial at 1:15 AM on November 21, 2011


I'm sure this pops up all the time in Milan Kundera's books, but the only specific example I can think of now is The Unbearable Lightness of Being.
posted by A Thousand Baited Hooks at 2:03 AM on November 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


This is the primary theme in the central books of In Search of Lost Time by Proust, where the narrator (Marcel) struggles with a very jealous love for Albertine. The second part of Sodom and Gomorrah, all of The Prisoner, and a substantial part of The Fugitive are about jealous love, and are really among the most important novelistic treatments of it. Jacqueline Rose wrote a novel from Albertine's perspective, called Albertine.
posted by OmieWise at 6:15 AM on November 21, 2011


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