Study Guide

The History of Love What's Up With the Title?

By Nicole Krauss

What's Up With the Title?

Fasten your seatbelts, Shmoopers. This about to get complicated. The book The History of Love is about a book called… The History of Love. Or how about this: the book The History of Love by Nicole Krauss is about a book called The History of Love, which is supposedly by Zvi Litvinoff but was actually written by Leo Gursky. Gursky wrote it for the love of his life, a girl named Alma, about "the only thing [he] knew" (love), and—surprise, surprise—it ended up being all about Alma also.

A few excerpts from Gursky's book are scattered throughout Krauss's novel; to a certain extent, these feel like a "history" of love, in that they describe events like the invention of emotions and the use of string for communication. Krauss's book, on the other hand, feels less like "The History of Love" and more like "A Case Study of Love." But we get it. "A Case Study of Love" doesn't make for a very good title at all. Instead, we have a book about love, about history, and about a book called The History of Love. Given all that, the title seems pretty appropriate to us.