At the heart of the stories in Everything Flirts are some of life’s trickiest questions: Why is it so hard to make the first move on a date? How do we find the person we will love? If you finally find a person to love, how do you convince them to love you back?

With a mixture of humor and reverence, Sharon Wahl hijacks classic works of philosophy and turns their focus to love. The philosopher Wittgenstein helps us consider the limits of language: Does there exist an argument, a logical deduction, that will cause another person to love us? The philosopher Zeno’s laws of motion stipulate that we can only ever cross half of any distance. This principle is applied to a first date, where making a first move becomes more and more impossible because the movie this couple goes to see is a depressing mood-killer. A woman afraid of love applies Bentham’s utilitarian principles to find her perfect match, testing every man she meets until she finds one who aces every one of her tests. Nonetheless, she wonders: Is he right for her? Is she ready to fall in love forever? The sublime and the ridiculous come together to playfully examine why love just might be a topic too hard for philosophers to explain.

“Delightfully clever and philosophically complex, the stories in Everything Flirts unfold like dreams, carrying you from one poignant love affair to the next. The prose is exquisite and seductive. The characters charm and disturb. And the collection as a whole lingers with you. Like a haunting.”—Jamil Jan Kochai, judge, John Simmons Short Fiction Award

“‘Being human was sufficient camouflage,’ writes Sharon Wahl, in her witty new collection Everything Flirts, about a philosophical love life. The question of whether one should collect a cascade of packing peanuts or go to class brings on Wittgenstein. Einstein proves that nothing’s impossible, especially in love. Bertrand Russell's interesting for his kissing technique. Wahl redefines it all with autofiction. A rare and scintillating peek into the hearts of math and philosophy geeks.”—Terese Svoboda

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Publication Details

Publication Date
188 pages
Trim size
5.5 x 8.25 inches