HOT PINK ZONA ROSA NEWS FLASH! Savor the essays in this new mind-blowing anthology edited by Lisa Solod Warren and just out from Seal Press, California. See Rosemary's essay, "The Ring," about her turbulent, yet tender relationship with her love-and-sex object, Zane, and Zona Rosan Connie Baechler's edgy essay on sexual fantasy, "One Cup Orgasm, A Measure of Taboo." Also included are essays by such outstanding writers as Joyce Maynard, Erica Jong, Jane Juska, K.W. Oxnard and others!
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Ride This Engaging "Streetcar" to the Very End
A review by Peter Blair
This collection of essays on desire is a beautiful and challenging ride through the multi-form manifestations that desire takes in the lives of women. From love and sex to success and acclaim to religion and the desire to help others (and even a desire for a kind of Zen "desirelessness"), I am impressed at the high quality of writing and the courage and candor these writers muster on the page. These are not merely sentimental, pornographic, angry, dreamy, or weepy essays (all of which are fragmented emotions). They seem to spring from a place of emotional maturity where the fragments have been merged by trials of living into that one elemental "emotion-which-contains-all-emotions" that is the "Desire" of the book's focus. Reading them as a man, I'm taken with how the range of essays spans what poet Gary Snyder calls the three manifestations of the goddess: daughters, lovers/wives/friends, and mothers, and how the exigencies of each stage impact, imprint, or alter one's desire in specific and moving ways or moments in time. It's so hard to write well about sex, yet Fair, Bussel, and Baechler, for instance, create witty, graphic, and unapologetic characterizations of physical love. Baechler's essay wonderfully reveals our desire to push the limits of taboos during sex in viable and non-violent ways. It skillfully portrays the roles of fantasy and experimentation in our desire for physical expression and release. Daniell's essay reminds me of Lawrence's image of marriage as a binary star where the stars must remain in delicate balance or one will be subsumed into the other or one may fly off into space forever. The essays about motherhood by Oxnard and Leiter reveal the desire for creation of life itself and how age and circumstance affect it. Finally, Bucholt's essay about the death of a dear friend shows the awe-inspiring and awful heights of emotion we go through in our desire to understand the soul and the injustice of losing someone we love. This is a moving collection.