Cartarescu brings together twenty short stories that he wrote for ELLE magazine. The protagonist of every story is female, but they are not individual portraits of women - it is a group portrait of womanhood. The implied question to which the title 'Why We Love Women' introduces a series of narrative answers is not Why do you love women? but Why do we love women? The we refers not to men in general but to the multiple biographical selves and literary personae of Mircea Cartarescu, spanning early childhood, youth and manhood in the closed world of communist Romania and mature adulthood and middle age in a post-communist world of free travel and encounters between cultures (the book’s settings include San Francisco, Ireland, Amsterdam, Turin, Paris and Krakow). The women of the title are real, imaginary, fictional, fictionalised, literary, intertextual, fantastical, oneiric, ideal, historical, contemporary, tragic, burlesque, mysterious, ordinary, strange, familiar, exotic, homely, perfect, flawed, ethereal, mundane, sacred and profane, each uniquely individual and at the same time universal in her beauty.