Senior Abby Coco has been awarded the Emma Kafalenos Prize for her honors thesis, "To the United Readers and Lovers: Novelistic Approaches to Love."
This project asks the question of whether we would ever fall in love if we had not read about it. In other words, do we perform the love we have read in books or do books manage to capture the human experience of love? With Jeffrey Eugenides’s The Marriage Plot as the primary text, this project explores the relationship between reading and love by examining the capacity of literature to relate to our reality, the inherent distance in novelistic form, and the female reader as depicted by the male author. The Marriage Plot ultimately reveals how the experience of reading very much reflects the experience of falling in love, empowering the reader to experience love in the real world.