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Soloway, an Emmy-nominated writer for HBO’s Six Feet Under, should have quit while she was ahead.

Instead, she proffers this dreary collection of autobiographical essays describing her obsession with celebrities, the boring sex she’s had, her shrink, her friendships with gay men, her dislike of dogs, her home office with the purple walls and the “hippie-dippie Moroccan bed.” Soloway (whose short story “Courtney Cox’s Asshole” was collected in Best American Erotica 2003 and caught the attention of director Alan Ball) is so fed up with the opposite sex that she wants to buy a tract of land in northern California, to be populated entirely by women; men can come for visits. Worried that a name like Wombtown would scare off potential recruits, she decides to call her haven Feather Crest. The author has a tiring penchant for WRITING IN ALL CAPS and using lots of exclamation marks!!! Despite her insistence in the introduction that this book is not mainly about sex, Soloway provides plenty of sex talk throughout. That would be fine if it didn’t seem gratuitous and superfluous, but often it is. (Ex: “Have you ever had a penis in your mouth and thought, ‘What the hell am I doing? I have a penis in my mouth!’” At least it wasn’t all in caps.) Occasionally, Soloway gets a laugh—her comparison of Jewish men and construction workers in bed is pretty droll—but most of her attempts at humor are just not smart enough to be funny. Her musings on her son’s Jewish identity are engaging, and the essay “Monica, Chandra, and Me” morphs magically from an intriguing analysis of Monica Lewinsky into a stirring ode to Soloway’s parents and grandparents. But these elevated moments are too few.

Embarrassing, self-indulgent and just plain boring.

Pub Date: Sept. 14th, 2005
ISBN: 0-7432-7217-X
Page count: 288pp
Publisher: Free Press
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1st, 2005