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Prof's Book on Love in the Digital Age Soon to Hit Shelves

What happens when an Icelandic yak herder meets a young Hollywood actress online? Or when a woman in a cancer support group chat room becomes enchanted by her chat-mate who is a fisherman at sea, who, in turn, becomes enamored by a Japanese English teacher?

In the 12 stories that comprise “The Hypothetical Girl,” New York Times Notable Book author Elizabeth Cohen visits these and other scenarios set mostly in the strange, nether world of online dating and love. Cohen, chosen by Barnes & Noble for its “Discover Great New Writers” distinction, finds love and trickery, humor and pathos in a wild menagerie of modern courtships.

“The Hypothetical Girl” includes such stories as “Love Quiz,” a story that gives the reader a), b) and c) choices about which path the story should take; “Death By Free Verse,” about an enamored couple who exchange flirtatious limericks until one of them disappears, and “The Hardness Test,” about a woman who meets both an ugly and a handsome man online simultaneously, a situation that forces her to face her own painful past.

Cohen’s characters “will lasso your heart and never let it go,” wrote Jo-Ann Mapson, the author of “The Bad Girl Creek” series.

“Beautiful, funny and heartbreaking, Cohen’s stories tackle love and all its discontents in a way you’ve never experienced before,” wrote Caroline Leavitt, author of the New York Times bestseller “Picturing You.”

A former reporter for The New York Post and writer for People magazine, recipient of an M.F.A. in writing from Columbia University, Cohen is an assistant professor of English at SUNY Plattsburgh.

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