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The subject of this unique book of short fiction is masturbation, a practice both universal and virtually taboo. In sixty-one vignettes, Mathews records the imaginative varieties of this solitary activity in prose that is playful, intimate, urgent, quirky, and humane.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9781564782335
ISBN-10: 1564782336
Format: Paperback
(216mm x 142mm x 11mm)
Pages: 200
Imprint: Dalkey Archive Press
Publisher: Dalkey Archive Press
Publish Date: 1-Apr-2000
Country of Publication: United States

Other Editions


US Kirkus Review » The singular pleasures of Mathews's (Cigarettes, 1987, etc.) title are in fact only one pleasure, and that one is the - well, the pleasure of masturbation. Here are sixty-odd (publisher's count) tiny pieces, one or two almost a page long, most only a paragraph or just a few lines, describing various people - well, doing it. Those various people are very various, from kids to old fogies, of all sexes, nations, places, needs, and callings, some alone, some with like-minded company. Some of the vignettes are silly, some exotic, some satiric, some erotic, most poetic, some neutral, and some - a few - touchingly lovely. The point seems to be - well, let that be determined by those who choose to ponder it. The illustrations by Francesco Clemente aren't lubricous at all, but (usually) slight, charming, and as ephemeral as a - well, as, say, a falling leaf. (Kirkus Reviews)

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