TABOO by Armand Denis


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Armand Denis, world traveler, turns an experienced eye on the sexual practices of many peoples in this consistently interesting book which is frank while skirting the salacious. The subjects range from the Kambaramba on the Sepik River in New Guinea, ""where a father will beat his daughter for wanting to remain a virgin, and where a husband will start getting worried if his wife isn't being unfaithful to him"" (the life of the tribe depends on it) to the tight-laced, guilt-conscious society of the Belgium he knew as a boy. Between come post-war Japan, with its loss of pre-marital chastity, China with its puritanism for the state and India with its puritanism for the sake of the family, the N'Jemp and the Muria with their various efforts at achieving a balance of freedom and responsibility. And then there is glorious Tahiti, an island with no sense of sin at all, where there is no j.d. problem, no class consciousness...and no notion of individual fidelity either. Mr. Denis sees a claim for sexual freedom as a world movement in the past five years, relates sex, economics, and survival in his commentary. A provocative perusal.

Publisher: Putnam