A slim yet raucous romp through a novelist’s life.
Spanning several decades, with sex as the undercurrent that ties these essays together, Wood (Going Public, 1991, etc.) amusingly exposes his adolescent, marital and extramarital exploits. "I laughed at guys who drove hundred-fifty-thousand-dollar Mercedes,” he writes. “I viewed fitness fetishists as lumpy bags of rock. Mansions, advanced degrees, academic prizes, were as foolish a way to prove oneself as a trophy room full of rhinoceros heads…It was obvious to me that the one who dies with the most sex wins." Determined to prove this point to readers, Wood wittily interweaves his sex life with his work as a writer, art teacher, book publisher, small-town government official and husband to writer Marge Piercy, with whom he has authored two books (So You Want to Write, 2001, etc.). Wood also self-deprecatingly divulges his youthful indiscretions, including the blatant lie to his first lover that his parents were dead, his dalliances with cocaine and his contraction of chlamydia. He reveals his testy confrontations with his parents and the ill feelings caused by his representation of his mother in a novel, which remained a sore spot for years. Fortunately, maturity and a long-term relationship stabilized his life. Although Wood writes that "sex is more interesting than writing,” he has successfully combined both in this bawdy bit of self-scrutiny.
Saucy, sexy stories of a young writer's life.