A ripe, raunchy, romantic collection that laughs in the face of standard notions of female sexuality. Thirty-nine writers and artists, both famous and unknown, demonstrate women taking control of their bodies and redefining love and lust in ways that range from passionately lyrical to hard- core steamy. In ``Isle of Skye,'' Rebecca Brown reveals the private musings of two women from different countries trying to communicate through a language barrier; when they still don't connect after intimate moments in which they make up words they ``can't write or say, delicious, private, warm as thighs,'' we see that fear represents an even greater barrier. Barbara Gowdy's ``We So Seldom Look On Love'' dives into the psyche of a necrophile who can find ``no replacement for the torrid serenity of a cadaver'' to illuminate not something sick, but something shockingly seductive. Mary Gaitskill's essay, ``The Rose Taboo,'' explains what in many circles would be considered un-P.C. empathy and admiration for Axl Rose of the band Guns N' Roses. Erica Jong contributes her usual in the form of ``Fruits & Vegetables'' and other poetry—lots of moans and thrusts. And Roberta Gregory's outrageous comic strip ``Bitchy Bitch Gets Laid'' defies description. By and large, poet Crosbie (Miss Pamela's Mercy—not reviewed) makes keen selections—although some narratives, like Kathy Acker's ``New York City in 1979,'' are too heavy on the feminist jargon to be readable, and the point of reproducing photocopied female genitalia remains opaque. Sexy, fierce, riveting. A great bedside read.
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