11.16.2004

Not to pick on n+1 too badly today, because they are great guys and I very much appreciate their efforts to create a literary space with more depth and substance than what we've got otherwise, but I MUST point out this charming new feature:

"Is Anal Sex Fair to Women?"

See! They ARE hip to what women writers are thinking about!

The byline here is Emily Votruba--I don't think n+1 could really have had a male byline here, hm? I like that n+1 is making fun of the Toni Bentley book--really, I mean, how ridiculous is it that her book, with a ballerina's masochistic taste for pain, becomes literary fare. Women undergoing painful, demeaning sex lives is considered literary in the state we're currently in.

Think about it: I remember, whenever it came out, that The Sexual Life of Catherine M was the ONE book by a woman on the front table at the Community Bookstore & Cafe here in Park Slope.

This was a book about her sexual addiction, but without the awareness that it was a sexual addiction. She had many random, fast, (and, to me, boring) encounters--the sort of thing that is perfect for young male sexuality, but doesn't really do it for most women without a serious unchecked pathology (see Brenda on Six Feet Under a couple years ago), and that doesn't lead itself to women's sexual pleasure, which depends on attention and communication and all that.

Anyway, yes: women's sexual pleasure is relegated to the embarrassing self-help sections of your Barnes and Noble, and probably doesn't show up too much at all in the high falutin' little bookstores. I guess sometimes in those ads in the back of the New Yorker? But anyway: women's pain is literary, women's pleasure is not.

Fuck that. One of you, out there, is going to write some big epic thing, complete with David Foster Wallace footnotes and Jonathan Franzen blurbs and an FSG editor and include the word clitoris in your title. It might be 2015 by the time you get it published by FSG, though, so keep us in mind as we start our Cupcake imprint next year.

xo
Elizabeth
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