Neurotica: Jewish Writers on Sex

Robinson Street Books: Used and Rare
Title Neurotica: Jewish Writers on Sex
ISBN 0767906500
Author Bukiet, Melvin Jules
Binding Paperback
Publisher Broadway Books
Publisher Year 2000
Condition Fine
Description 0767906500 Neurotica: Jewish Writers on Sex is a first-rate collection of writings about "the people of the book, in bed," as editor Melvin Jules Bukiet observes in the book's terrifically funny introduction. ("Not only is sex unshunned by the Jewish tradition; it's often considered a positive mitzvah to have sex on Sabbath. Besides, if work is prohibited and you can't go to the movies, how else can you spend your holy time?") Neurotica includes short stories and excerpts from novels by big names such as Philip Roth, Saul Bellow, Bernard Malamud, Jerzy Kosinski, and Woody Allen, and by promising newcomers such as Nathan Englander and Michael Lowenthal. Some familiar selections (such as an excerpt from Erica Jong's once-scandalous Fear of Flying) now appear remarkably tame. But the sexual proclivities depicted in many of these selections are quite intense and sometimes disturbing--not fit for summary on a family Web site. So keep this one away from the kids, but curl up with it under the covers. It will give you veddy interesting dreams. --Michael Joseph Gross--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title. From Publishers Weekly Editor Bukiet (Signs and Wonders) serves up this alphabetically organized, stellar collection of Jewish writings focusing on sexual themes. Twenty-seven stories by accomplished writers delve into a range of erotic, disturbing and poignant narratives including classic coming-of-age tales, unconventional fantasies and painful stories of erotic substitutions. An ethnic flavor is intense in some pieces, marginal in others. Jewish customs, typologies and situations peculiar to the Diaspora define pieces by Isaac Bashevis Singer and Max Apple, but Bernard Malamud's story of the seduction and redemption of a Parisian artist doesn't hinge on its religious reference points. The two longest entries will be known to most readers: Harold Brodkey's "Innocence" is a spellbinding story of two Harvard students in love, valiantly striving for the young woman's first orgasm, and Cynthia Ozick's "The Pagan Rabbi" offers a complicated psychological study of a Talmudic scholar's suicide. Other standouts include Leonard Michael's "Murderers," brimming with robust and poetic sentences: "We sat on the roof like angels, derealized in brilliance. Our sneakers sucked hot slanted metal. Palms and fingers pressed to bone on nailheads." These "angels," a quartet of Brooklyn Jewish boys, climb onto a roof to watch their rabbi and his wife copulate, till one boy falls to his death. Central is the tension between Jewish identity and sexual expression, between ethics and desires, with Nathan Englander and Binnie Kirshenbaum weighing in with worthy reflections on these themes. Other contributors include Saul Bellow, Francine Prose and Woody Allen; Philip Roth is represented by a section from The Counterlife, and Erica Jong by the classic first chapter from Fear of Flying. The range of subjects and voices is impressive, and many aspects of sexuality, be they disturbing, ruthless or shocking, or loving, mournful and comical, are probed, sometimes graphically and always unapologetically. (Oct.) Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


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