Sunday Reading: Portraits of Marriage

The longtime New Yorker author Veronica Geng titled one of her funniest books “Love Trouble Is My Business.” It wasn’t her enterprise alone: over time, love and love bother, marriage and marital bother have been on the heart of some fascinating items within the journal.

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In “Fixed,” the scholar and workers author Jill Lepore chronicles the historical past, and the complexities, of {couples} remedy. (“Campaigns to defend, protect, and improve marriage have been around for a long time. They’re usually tangled together.”) In “A Modest Proposal,” David Sedaris recounts the a number of instances he proposed to his boyfriend, Hugh, earlier than getting a sure. In “A Couple in Chicago,” Mariana Cook interviews Barack and Michelle Obama close to the start of their lives collectively. In “The Perfect Wife,” Ariel Levy explores how Edith Windsor achieved a groundbreaking victory for same-sex marriage. Finally, in “You’re Getting Married,” from 2003, Rebecca Mead examines the booming bridal business and the way it has reshaped fashionable concepts about weddings and matrimony. “The average American bride and groom together spend twenty-two thousand dollars on the day that sees them transformed into man and wife,” Mead writes, “and each new union is filled not just with cordial hope but with the promise of profit.”

David Remnick

You’re Getting Married

The Wal-Martization of the bridal enterprise.

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Barack and Michelle Obama, sitting on a couch.

A Couple in Chicago

At dwelling with the Obamas, in 1996.

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An illustrated figure jumping out of a ring box

A Modest Proposal

Just while you thought you’d by no means get married.

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Edith Windsor and Thea Spyer

The Perfect Wife

How Edith Windsor fell in love, received married, and received a landmark case for homosexual marriage.

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An illustration of a couple in bed—with their therapists.


The rise of marriage remedy, and different goals of human betterment.

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An earlier model of this submit misspelled the identify of photographer Mariana Cook.

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