From classic tales of illicit passion to contemporary stories about betrayal, here are the best books about the beginning, middle and end of the affairThe coup de foudre. The brief encounter. The dangerous liaison. Our usual descriptions fascinate briefly, then fizzle out. They don’t reveal enough. In fiction, as in life, I’m drawn to questions of who and how we love, the losses we fear, and what we’ll risk – absurdly or boldly – to feel alive under the skin. For most of us, the thrill of a story about an infidelity is less about sex than it is about intimacy, that magnetic line of connection between two bodies and their secret selves. Intimacy shared with another person is often the first real betrayal to any union, and the first plunge out of one’s depth. In fiction, characters misjudge the depth of the fall. Others rush headlong into the stuff of life. As they do, they’re laid bare – literally (almost certainly) and metaphorically (always). We see what it is to be human: to yearn, to feel joy, to suffer and to see the world transformed.1. Madame Bovary by Gustav Flaubert Who can forget Emma and Léon’s furious cab ride …read more

Via: The Guardian | Books