“To see beauty as the face of love rather than the arbitrary gift of fortune is . . . to enlarge our sense of life’s possibilities.“
A woman becomes beautiful when she believes that her appearance reflects her essential self. Ellen Zetzel Lambert explores the connection of physical appearance to self-esteem, through photography, literature, and life experience.
“If you want to read something really interesting about our obsession with looks, go out and buy The Face of Love, a slender, subtle volume.” —Daphne Merkin, The Boston Globe
“An alluring book. . . . Moved by the trauma of her own mastectomy, broadened by her kinship with eighteenth- and nineteenth-century women novelists, put on notice by the odd fascination she feels for photo albums that record her youth, Lambert makes palpable to readers what she plainly experienced as a middle-aged woman: a secular revelation that beauty is very deep indeed, as deep as we’re capable of making it.” —Carlin Romano, Philadelphia Inquirer
“The book’s affirmation of the corporeal as an important root of our identity places Lambert at the forefront of an important new area of feminist research and theory that is beginning, at last, to take women’s bodies seriously without trapping them in politically dangerous notions of the essential female. By reclaiming the vivid ways in which beauty can be understood as a quality of the spirit—even in a culture dominated by images of MTV vixens and willowy supermodels—Lambert has produced an eloquent plea for the enduring uses of beauty in feminist discourse.” —Jennifer Jones, In These Times
“A dazzling and unpredictable book which should provoke passionate discussion. Ellen Lambert rightly presents beauty as a more taboo subject than sex. Kudos to her for so stimulatingly breaking the taboo. The Face of Love will certainly lead to re-readings of many classic texts and may lead some women to reconsider the story of their lives.” —Phyllis Rose, author of Parallel Lives
“The Face of Love is a wise and often poignant book about the connection between love and feelings of ugliness or beauty. Feminists or not, we are our bodies; Lambert understands women’s anxieties about beauty as serious, and shows in deft literary criticism and moving personal memoir how meaningful they can be.” —Elaine Showalter, author of A Literature of Their Own