DIFFERENT LOVING

AN EXPLORATION OF THE WORLD OF SEXUAL DOMINANCE AND SUBMISSION

Few books come with warning labels, but this one does: ``Readers should not attempt any of the activities described in these pages.'' Why not? Because the outrÇ sexual practices described by the Brames (she: a former therapist; he: a former archaeologist) and Jacobs (a freelance writer) in this bold report carry psychological and, often, physical risks—though that hasn't stopped the two-hundred-odd practitioners whom the authors interviewed, nor the millions who share their passion for sexual dominance and submission (D&S). All D&S, the authors explain, involves a ``power exchange'' in which one partner ``tops,'' or dominates, and the other ``bottoms,'' or submits—whether through bondage, wrestling, whipping, body-piercing, etc. After running through the history of D&S scholarship—with expected nods at Krafft-Ebbing and Havelock Ellis—the Brames and Jacob present an overview of the practices themselves, which range from infantilism (the bottom often wears a diaper and sucks on a bottle) and depersonalization (the bottom may act like an object, perhaps a footstool, or an animal, most often a pony) to spanking, cross-dressing, foot fetishes, enemas, branding, and so on. The authors discuss the methods, psychological bases, and historical backgrounds of the practices, each of which is illuminated by interviews with practitioners who speak with great seriousness (``Deliberate, ritualized infliction of what we call pain can change the relationship of the body and that which lives in the body,'' says Fakir Musafar, who likes to dangle from trees by way of ``fleshhooks''). And as for the risks, nearly all of these sexual outlaws identify with the ``Scene'' (the vast D&S underground that's highly self-aware: Two thousand infantilists, for example, belong to a ``Diaper Pail Fraternity'') and with its credo of ``Safe, Sane, and Consensual.'' The definitive guide to the sexual styles of those who walk on the wild side.

Pub Date: June 1, 1993

ISBN: 0-679-40873-8

Page Count: 608

Publisher: Villard

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 1993

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Skloot's meticulous, riveting account strikes a humanistic balance between sociological history, venerable portraiture and...

THE IMMORTAL LIFE OF HENRIETTA LACKS

A dense, absorbing investigation into the medical community's exploitation of a dying woman and her family's struggle to salvage truth and dignity decades later.

In a well-paced, vibrant narrative, Popular Science contributor and Culture Dish blogger Skloot (Creative Writing/Univ. of Memphis) demonstrates that for every human cell put under a microscope, a complex life story is inexorably attached, to which doctors, researchers and laboratories have often been woefully insensitive and unaccountable. In 1951, Henrietta Lacks, an African-American mother of five, was diagnosed with what proved to be a fatal form of cervical cancer. At Johns Hopkins, the doctors harvested cells from her cervix without her permission and distributed them to labs around the globe, where they were multiplied and used for a diverse array of treatments. Known as HeLa cells, they became one of the world's most ubiquitous sources for medical research of everything from hormones, steroids and vitamins to gene mapping, in vitro fertilization, even the polio vaccine—all without the knowledge, must less consent, of the Lacks family. Skloot spent a decade interviewing every relative of Lacks she could find, excavating difficult memories and long-simmering outrage that had lay dormant since their loved one's sorrowful demise. Equal parts intimate biography and brutal clinical reportage, Skloot's graceful narrative adeptly navigates the wrenching Lack family recollections and the sobering, overarching realities of poverty and pre–civil-rights racism. The author's style is matched by a methodical scientific rigor and manifest expertise in the field.

Skloot's meticulous, riveting account strikes a humanistic balance between sociological history, venerable portraiture and Petri dish politics.

Pub Date: Feb. 9, 2010

ISBN: 978-1-4000-5217-2

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2010

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A vivid sequel that strains credulity.

THE ESCAPE ARTIST

Fremont (After Long Silence, 1999) continues—and alters—her story of how memories of the Holocaust affected her family.

At the age of 44, the author learned that her father had disowned her, declaring her “predeceased”—or dead in his eyes—in his will. It was his final insult: Her parents had stopped speaking to her after she’d published After Long Silence, which exposed them as Jewish Holocaust survivors who had posed as Catholics in Europe and America in order to hide multilayered secrets. Here, Fremont delves further into her tortured family dynamics and shows how the rift developed. One thread centers on her life after her harrowing childhood: her education at Wellesley and Boston University, the loss of her virginity to a college boyfriend before accepting her lesbianism, her stint with the Peace Corps in Lesotho, and her decades of work as a lawyer in Boston. Another strand involves her fraught relationship with her sister, Lara, and how their difficulties relate to their father, a doctor embittered after years in the Siberian gulag; and their mother, deeply enmeshed with her own sister, Zosia, who had married an Italian count and stayed in Rome to raise a child. Fremont tells these stories with novelistic flair, ending with a surprising theory about why her parents hid their Judaism. Yet she often appears insensitive to the serious problems she says Lara once faced, including suicidal depression. “The whole point of suicide, I thought, was to succeed at it,” she writes. “My sister’s completion rate was pathetic.” Key facts also differ from those in her earlier work. After Long Silence says, for example, that the author grew up “in a small city in the Midwest” while she writes here that she grew up in “upstate New York,” changes Fremont says she made for “consistency” in the new book but that muddy its narrative waters. The discrepancies may not bother readers seeking psychological insights rather than factual accuracy, but others will wonder if this book should have been labeled a fictionalized autobiography rather than a memoir.

A vivid sequel that strains credulity.

Pub Date: Feb. 11, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-982113-60-5

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Gallery Books/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Oct. 21, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2019

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