I started to write The History of Love in the spring of 2002, just after my first novel was published. It was a strange time: wonderful, but also melancholy. Something about the feeling of writing seemed to change for me once the book was published. I felt, a bit, as if I’d lost something hard to put my finger on, something personal and natural that I’d loved about writing. I was working on a new book, but my heart wasn’t quite in it. So one day I decided to throw away the hundred or so pages I had. I wanted to give up my old ideas about writing — or at least about trying to write well — and just write something for myself. To no end. A nothing.