I have been reading his reviews for a long time, so it makes me very pleased that he even read Slither, let alone that he actually enjoyed some of it! Again I learn, once I write it and send it out in the world, a book will do what it pleases. Like take itself very, very seriously! A friend sent us this link. The text is here, but can be seen in the Sparrow Newsletter Number Thank you Imran.
No matter who or where her audience is, she is bound to challenge their assumptions, producing both discomfort and delight. Back in the United States a decade later when I heard the sad news of her untimely death, I could hardly imagine returning to Pune without her there. While Gauri Deshpande was unquestionably one of the most important and innovative writers in contemporary Marathi literature, and was well-known and respected throughout India and among scholars of Maharashtra, she began her career writing well-received poetry in English.
She published three collections with the Calcutta Writers Workshop and edited a collection of Indian poetry in English in the late sixties and early seventies, but then switched over to writing fiction in Marathi and made her name with her novellas and her translations. At the time of her death in she was relatively unknown beyond India; however, that was changing, since her work in English had been gaining greater exposure throughout the s. One of her Marathi stories was translated into English and anthologized in the important two-volume Women Writing in India published in , and her first collection of short stories in English, The Lackadaisical Sweeper, was published in Like Gauri Deshpande herself, her stories confound readerly expectations—whether the readers are Indians or non-Indians— of Indian society, and specifically of women, and the stories are often profoundly unsettling, jarring the reader out of complacency.
In addition, they continually shift perspective, from India to the United States and back, from gender to caste-class, from mother to daughter, from the rational to the emotional, from the abstractly philosophical to the earthily physical, and back again. As she goes literally and figuratively to buy glasses to correct her far-sightedness, she discovers that she has understood nothing at all of life and love.
In the title story of The Lackadaisical Sweeper, two newlywed upper-middle-class wives, one Indian, the other American, stationed in Hong Kong with their businessman-husbands, meet and become friends as they take their daily morning walks. At first the American woman appears to be stereotypically brash and self-involved, the young Indian woman aptly named Seeta equally stereotypically meek and submissive. And then, in a characteristic shift, Gauri Deshpande gives a silent, sullen street sweeper the last word. Every morning the American woman has greeted him as they pass him on their morning walks, trying in vain to elicit a response from him.
In the closing scene, Seeta greets him and he answers back, to her delight, though she understands nothing of what he has said. In Map, a tribute to Edward Said, a middle-aged woman reclaims her body as her own territory after a love affair has ended.
The story draws upon the postcolonial critique of colonial thought as a gendered discourse that designates the colonised as female, a blank canvas passively desiring to be conquered and mapped. Her ex-lover was the colonial explorer cartographer, drawing the map of her body in his own, exoticised terms.
The mother is a highly-educated professor of Buddhist philosophy, as scholar of the Self who ironically seems to have little self-knowledge. I want to close with a few personal reminiscences of Gauri Deshpande that might shed some light on how her mind worked. With regard to the title of the story, Insy Winsy Spider, she once told me that one of her professors during her postgraduate studies in English literature insisted that his Indian students read English nursery rhymes in order to become as fully immersed in the language as a native speaker.
She herself was in complete command of English, confident enough to reshape it in her own image.
With regard to her firm commitment to write in Marathi, she once observed with a wry smile how much more money she could be making if she were writing in English. Talking to fellow-Marathi writer Ambika Sirkar, she once observed sadly that, with the passing of their generation, certain turns of phrase particular to their community would disappear forever. When we visited her in Pune, even as she offered her guests a cold glass of beer, she also offered us a tumblerful of a cooling green mango drink explaining that it had to be drunk at this particular time of year.
As a writer and as a person, Gauri Deshpande has left a gap in English and Marathi fiction and society that is not easily filled. She rants: And still I loved his hands. This is a book of short stories that are erotic in nature with the undercurrent of carnality. The author in her acknowledgement says that this book was the result of a challenge from her editor friend and goes on to candidly admits that the book was uncomfortable to write but at the same time also empowering and liberating. Fair enough. So I started to read but some stories down I could figure why writing stories like this is a tough ask.
Stories were great but after a point I struggled to finish the book, not because of the writing let me be clear, but the subject. There is only so much one can read about slithering bodies, sex et al.. Maybe I am in minority where my reasons are concerned, but kudos to the author for taking up this challenge and doing full justice to it. Manisha Lakhe is the author of The Betelnut Killers. Link to his own blog Jabberwock lots of gyre and gimble there!
Your RPM is hitting a new high. Once I began reading the book, I was pleased to find that not only is much of the sex writing here quite good, but also that the stories show imagination and variety. Sexual passion, in its many forms, plays a central role throughout, but these are also searching narratives about other aspects of the human experience: loss, insecurity, nostalgia, generational and cultural gaps. When she accidentally sees her year-old daughter making love with a boyfriend, she thinks about her own life and the many taboos she grew up with.
To dam two streams into a single flow, to stroke an eager cock, suck a succulent nipple, arch the long back of a long torso in the moment of the end of the scene? I was also amused by Deshpande mentioning, in her acknowledgements, that much of this book was written in a decidedly unsexy setting — during a family Christmas in Canada. Words: 7, Published: August 16, After researcher Kyla's erotic encounter with a strange alien blob on a remote planet, she learns her supervisors are set to launch a mining operation in the cave it's in - even if it means the death of the blob.
Kyla is determined to save the alien Contains explicit unprotected sex with powerful tentacles. Published: August 8, Space explorer Kyla is thrilled to stumble on a curious discovery: a massive alien blob.
But when its giant tentacles suddenly grab her, she realizes the blob intends to do some exploring of its own Will Kyla resist or bow to its relentless probing? Contains a helpless woman, a mass of agile tentacles and a variety of gooey fluids. Published: July 19, When Louise's husband, Prof. Gerald Young, refuses to help student Dean pass his course, she spots an opportunity for some naughty fun: seduce young Dean and have him cuckold her husband in retaliation!
Will Gerald stand his ground or submit and give Dean the perfect 'A' he doesn't deserve? Warning: contains explicit content, incl.
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Published: July 12, This bundle collects both parts of "Best Friends in Submission", wherein Lauren and Mia, two college friends, sexually submit to Sam, a dom in his thirties. Though fun and exciting, this new three-way relationship also takes a toll on their friendship. Be warned: the stories contain explicit content, incl.
For adults only! Published: July 10, Lauren and Mia are best friends, both submissive to Sam.
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But when Sam allows Lauren to dominate Mia, the shift in power tests their friendship. After Lauren takes it a step too far Sam grants Mia her choice of revenge, but will Lauren be able to handle what Mia's got in store? Published: July 6, College girl Lauren wants to improve her and boyfriend Austin's sex life. Published: June 24, After dumping her husband's sorry ass for cheating on her with a college girl, Pauline sets out to get revenge on the little homewrecking slut by guilt-tripping her into a gangbang.
But Pauline soon finds herself aroused when watching the action. Will she stick to the original plan or succumb to her own desires? Words: 14, Published: June 11, Summer not hot enough for you? Turn up the heat with some seasonal erotica!
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This bundle collects three raunchy short stories about the one summertime activity most likely to get you hot and sweaty: sex! Published: June 9, Mandy is a girl who values cleanliness. When she meets Elliot in the middle of a scorching summer day her clothes swiftly come off, but in the sweltering heat she feels a little icky and gross. Elliot decides to show her just how fun dirty sex is Contains explicit content, incl. Lizardmen Licked My Bride! Words: 8, Published: June 5, Cecil Latham is on the brink of a meltdown.
His town is besieged by an army of lizardmen, but worse yet, his bride has been kidnapped, stripped and tied up outside the main gate, and the lizard commander is pleasuring her with his tongue, taunting him. Can Latham overcome his cuckolding nemesis? Contains explicit material, incl.
Rock Me, Mistress! Published: May 22, Paige joined an all-girl rock band for the good times. Leader Jaime keeps creative control on a tight leash, but drummer Megan on an even tighter one! Paige can't help but lust for the cute drummer, but will Mistress Jaime allow her slave a little fun with her bandmate? Published: May 14, When Chloe first volunteered to help harass Japanese whalers near Antarctica, she never imagined she'd end up sneaking onto their boat on a sabotage mission.
Or that she'd get caught! Chloe always said she'd do anything to save the whales Warning: contains explicit content suitable for adults only! Published: May 5, It's a hot summer's day in the city, and Michelle cools down by taking a dip in the big fountain at the downtown square, causing a bit of a commotion as her white dress turns transparent. When two policemen show up and demand an explanation, she decides to teach them how to have a little fun in public. But they won't be convinced easily! Published: April 4, A werewolf is sent to assassinate two vampires who have recently settled in his pack's territory.
But when he sneaks into their mansion and sees them engaged in depraved sexual acts, he finds himself curiously aroused Published: March 31, How patronizing and unproductive. As a parent, would you expect me to do less than protect my children from homophobic assholes? This upsets me. Whoever this author is should be ashamed. Which is basically the same thing I said with bigger words. Welcome to diversion This is my opinion. These are legitimate comments.
You did list a handful. Thank you. So… help us understand. Where should we go to learn? O Rly? Victoria, you are offended because a few commentors have misspelled your name. I find it interesting that you are bothered by inaccuracy, because you are making things up wholesale and lying baldfaced about me and a number of other authors. I am a member of the queer community. Ask my wife. I am calling you on these lies. Erastes does not review her own books; she tends to avoid reviewing those of her friends.
I jokingly gave Ransom 5 stars on that blog. But you may note that that is the only one of my books that I have rated, anywhere. The ratings that count for many purposes are on Amazon, which does not allow its writers to rate themselves. As for the notion of claiming sexuality according to fashion, my sexuality—which is none of your business, btw—ought to be relatively apparent from the fact that I married my wife in Ontario the year it became legal, and we moved here in Little did she know.
Please substantiate the claims you make; I want to see citations of urls where people have done the things you claim they have done. I want the titles of the books to which you refer when you make these sweeping statements about rape and other offenses. Your statements are dramatic, but you have as much credibility as Sarah Palin, and you are operating in much the same way—attack without foundation and assume that most people will not bother to check your claims. Since I know that what you are saying about me and my books is untrue, I see no reason to believe the slurs you are casting on other writers.
What I see in your post is not righteous indignation, Victoria: it is plain old envy. Are you angry that Erastes, Alex, Don and I were invited to submit outlines to Perseus—or are you simply furious that you were not? Would you have recoiled from the opportunity, or sent them an outline and hoped for a contract? Somehow, I suspect the latter. Victoria A. She teaches writing and film at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia where she added two new courses to the literary curriculum: Writing Below the Belt and Smut.
She lives in Philadelphia. Dare I suggest that the motives you impute to others are actually projections of your own intent? You can hardly write gay male porn and tell any other woman that she is not allowed to do the same. Lee, although I find this article problematic in some ways, you and your band of fine BIG NAME authors are doing yourselves no favors in the way you are conducting yourselves online. I would like to point out that although it says Victoria publishes under a pseudonym, it does not say it is a MALE pseudonym.
If Victoria is doing that, then by all means that is hypocritical. A lot of people commenting here are too fucking pleased with themselves and entirely missing the point. So why Victoria Brownworth has the right to write gay male porn? I think no one pointed out she is doing it under a male pseudonym, that would be even more hypocritical. When and were she gained that place? Well, if you think your pop culture definition of fetishization was the same as the one I presented, then I completely understand why you keep using derail.
Because comprehension seems to be lacking. I am not a nice little humble straight girl waiting to be enlightened. Fiction comes from the imagination. I can distinguish between fiction and fact. If someone posts outright lies about me, I am certainly going to dispute those lies.
Would it be appropriate for any heterosexual writer to condemn gay men or lesbians for writing about heterosexual romance? Ah, but who would know? How many readers care? Is Madame Bovary less of a book because Flaubert was male? A book should be judged on its merit. Some books are good, some are downright horrible.
A responsible reviewer would go case-by-case. Who happens to be a gay man. Who is, incidentally, the only person with the right to decide whether or not he wants to print what I have written. And I am very grateful that he actually reads my books before making that decision.
But as I probably realized a bit too late, there is no way to concile the idea, no matter what one states, no matter what reasons you have. I will remain with my idea, a book has to be judged for its merit not for the gender of who wrote it. Victoria Brownworth will remain with her idea of not embracing the straight fetishizing of their relationships.
I tend to think that exposing straights to positive portrayals of gay relationships — even those that are inaccurate — make gays less other. It is a genetic predisposition. And those of us who were born queer resent our lives being taken as a publishing trend. Again, even with its flaws, I would think the popularity and growth of this genre is a good thing for GLBT visibility and therefore the fight for equal rights.
Put quotes around my response to one of your comments rather than the comment itself. Hope you can tell what I meant. Is there no way to edit on here? Here is a list of books—both fiction and nonfiction—by gay male authors that have been reviewed by Speak Its Name. You can find all of these reviews on the website. Judging by all those four- and five-star ratings, I cannot see why you would claim that the work of gay male romance writers is being dismissed or rated poorly.
Have some works been given low ratings? Of course. And so have some works by women authors. Speak Its Name rates books based on the quality of the writing, the storytelling and the historical accuracy. Any author of either sex or any sexuality can get a low rating. By the same token, any author of either sex or any sexuality can earn a high one.
It always has been. My first book, Basecraft Cirrostratus , does not have a single rape, describes relationship dynamics culled from my own experiences, and never once turns abusive. I should probably let Justin replies, but Tasha I think this is a highly offensive comment. Not really different from vampires or werewolves in paranormal. Elisa: And you have missed my point entirely, as well as the point of the blog entry to which we are commenting. Some of them have been used quite frequently here in this discussion. Just wanted to thank Ms.
Brownworth for a great article. And thanks to the others who have done battle with the reactionary trolls in comments. What I hate is the self-righteous indignation when actual queers call them out on poor behavior. I was just reading back over some of the comments by some of these authors during the Lambda awards issue and one is astounded by the things many of them said. That is when I realized that a good number of these writers are not allies but opportunists. Just one.
Because there are none. I left the schoolyard and petty bullies like Rowan long ago when my years at Catholic school were finally up. My work has appeared in every major queer mag in the country and most of the better known national daily newspapers, including the New York Times and Los Angeles Times. Google me and you get about two million references. Google Lee Rowan and you get—no joke—a list of closet organizers. So maybe I am envious—because my closets are a mess. Who knew Rowan was the leader of the actual business, though?
Oh my—yes, i have. A lot. I actually have always been a writer who writes. And includes Gertrude Stein among others. I took over the project when my dear friend, the photographer Tee Corinne, was diagnosed with liver cancer she died a few months later. So by all means castigate me for doing a lesbian history. So tedious. Envious of what? Your bad attitude? Your ability to clear a room or enrage a comments list? My kingdom for a hatpin! The other half disagree, mostly whining and complaning. Boo hoo. Deal with it. Own it.
And then go off and blog amongst yourselves that the rest of us actual queers are just jealous of your hetero privilege and stupendously successful writing careers in a sub-genre and your own publisher refers to it as sub-genre, Rowan, so I am not defaming you. I told her that she might have less of a language problem if she were reading something less low-brow, but that was probably mean of me.
Or fuschia. I just think that among all your fanciful claims should be some facts. So why all the secrecy? My life is the proverbial open book. I want to thank respondents like Paul Bens, Tasha and Mel among others who read the article carefully and articulated their responses with such care and consideration and made me think more about the issues I was discussing. This is why I write. Tilting at windmills has not gone out of fashion, I see.
What could be more gratifying? I am a member of a organization sic , Lambda Literary, which Rowan does not respect nor esteem. If you so disrespect Lambda Literary, why continue to post here or read anything we write?