New Paltz prof Lisa Phillips talks about romantic obsession

Lisa Phillips

Lisa Phillips

In January of 2015, the decorated writer, radio journalist and SUNY-New Paltz professor Lisa Phillips published Unrequited: Women and Romantic Obsession, a book that, in the cross-disciplinary mode pioneered by writers such as Diane Ackerman, approaches its subject from multiple angles: the scientific, the historical and the personal. Unrequited assembles and integrates insights and narratives from within and without the academic disciplines to illuminate the power of obsession in women’s lives.

The kernel experience at the center of Phillips’ exploration is her own: a transformative and disruptive episode of unrequited obsession in her 30s that “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.”

The Washington Post describes Unrequited as “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.” Other early reviewers have noted that Phillips’ multi-mode treatment of obsession includes a cautionary, prescriptive dimension as well. Part of her design is to help readers – and perhaps society at large – tap the powers of the passions without being consumed by them.


On Friday, April 17 at 7 p.m., Lisa Phillips reads from Unrequited: Women and Romantic Obsession at Inquiring Minds Bookstore at 6 Church Street in New Paltz. Admission to the event is free, but seating is limited. Call (845) 255-8300 for more information.