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SEXOGRAPHIES

A frank, self-aware, provocatively voyeuristic narrative spanning the politics of the body, inside and out.

A noted Peruvian author’s compelling assortment of essays on female sexuality, gender, and the wonders of the human body.

In her first book-length work to be translated into English, Wiener, the former editor of the Spanish version of Marie Claire, assembles a series of writings that are keenly representative of her perspectives on sexuality. She also relates anecdotes from her curious journalistic wanderings and her “unfaithful” life. Some of her tales include a fascinating profile of a boastful Peruvian sex guru and his harem of six wives, an undercover visit to a Lima prison to survey jail tattoo culture, and an intimately and vividly described evening at a Barcelona swingers’ club with her husband in tow to enjoy erotic delights from the “alchemists of sex.” Elsewhere, Wiener participates in a dominatrix demonstration and an ayahuasca ceremony, and she discusses the legacy of Chilean author Isabel Allende (“famous enough to be on a par with the likes of Stephen King, Gabriel García Márquez, and J. K. Rowling”). In a brief though engaging piece demonstrating Wiener’s dry humor, wit, and immersive sense of journalism, she investigates the myths and complexities of female ejaculation. Later, she turns her gaze inward to address the dynamics of her current polyamorous relationship with a man and a woman while wholly admitting, “I never got the knack of fidelity.” The author’s voice is passionate, authoritative, and pensive, and her tantalizing tour of the taboo and the risqué becomes an addictive pleasure as the book progresses. Her perspectives are both illuminating and educative as she instructs readers to contemplate issues such as sexuality, gender politics, and social injustice as well as how motherhood has the potential to change how a woman perceives the bigger picture. In a particularly warm, memorable story, Wiener describes how her daughter refused to sleep on her own, causing the sleep-deprived author to contort herself into a kid-sized bed.

A frank, self-aware, provocatively voyeuristic narrative spanning the politics of the body, inside and out.

Pub Date: May 29, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-63206-159-1

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Restless Books

Review Posted Online: Sept. 19, 2018

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BETWEEN THE WORLD AND ME

NOTES ON THE FIRST 150 YEARS IN AMERICA

This moving, potent testament might have been titled “Black Lives Matter.” Or: “An American Tragedy.”

Awards & Accolades

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  • Kirkus Reviews'
    Best Books Of 2015


  • Kirkus Prize
  • Kirkus Prize
    winner


  • New York Times Bestseller


  • IndieBound Bestseller


  • National Book Award Winner


  • Pulitzer Prize Finalist

The powerful story of a father’s past and a son’s future.

Atlantic senior writer Coates (The Beautiful Struggle: A Father, Two Sons, and an Unlikely Road to Manhood, 2008) offers this eloquent memoir as a letter to his teenage son, bearing witness to his own experiences and conveying passionate hopes for his son’s life. “I am wounded,” he writes. “I am marked by old codes, which shielded me in one world and then chained me in the next.” Coates grew up in the tough neighborhood of West Baltimore, beaten into obedience by his father. “I was a capable boy, intelligent and well-liked,” he remembers, “but powerfully afraid.” His life changed dramatically at Howard University, where his father taught and from which several siblings graduated. Howard, he writes, “had always been one of the most critical gathering posts for black people.” He calls it The Mecca, and its faculty and his fellow students expanded his horizons, helping him to understand “that the black world was its own thing, more than a photo-negative of the people who believe they are white.” Coates refers repeatedly to whites’ insistence on their exclusive racial identity; he realizes now “that nothing so essentialist as race” divides people, but rather “the actual injury done by people intent on naming us, intent on believing that what they have named matters more than anything we could ever actually do.” After he married, the author’s world widened again in New York, and later in Paris, where he finally felt extricated from white America’s exploitative, consumerist dreams. He came to understand that “race” does not fully explain “the breach between the world and me,” yet race exerts a crucial force, and young blacks like his son are vulnerable and endangered by “majoritarian bandits.” Coates desperately wants his son to be able to live “apart from fear—even apart from me.”

This moving, potent testament might have been titled “Black Lives Matter.” Or: “An American Tragedy.”

Pub Date: July 8, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-8129-9354-7

Page Count: 176

Publisher: Spiegel & Grau

Review Posted Online: May 5, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2015

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NIGHT

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...

Elie Wiesel spent his early years in a small Transylvanian town as one of four children. 

He was the only one of the family to survive what Francois Maurois, in his introduction, calls the "human holocaust" of the persecution of the Jews, which began with the restrictions, the singularization of the yellow star, the enclosure within the ghetto, and went on to the mass deportations to the ovens of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. There are unforgettable and horrifying scenes here in this spare and sombre memoir of this experience of the hanging of a child, of his first farewell with his father who leaves him an inheritance of a knife and a spoon, and of his last goodbye at Buchenwald his father's corpse is already cold let alone the long months of survival under unconscionable conditions. 

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the sphere of suffering shared, and in this case extended to the death march itself, there is no spiritual or emotional legacy here to offset any reader reluctance.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2006

ISBN: 0374500010

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Hill & Wang

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

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