Such immense gratitude and thanks for this incredibly thoughtful, deep and sensitive essay/review of 52 Men by Amanda Fortini in the Los Angeles Review of Books: Why Can’t You Be Sweet?
Some excerpts casually laid out for you here:
“A book “that still feels a tad revolutionary, even in 2016… when women write about their erotic adventures the tales have a different resonance and cultural impact than those written by men…
“52 Men suggests that our identity is at least in part a product of our romantic past, and that the particulars we choose to depict that past are significant, comprising a kind of personal psychobiography…
“Leonard’s focus is zoom-lens tight: she describes the various men, zeroing in on what they said and did -— and how she responded — in a pivotal moment.
“She suffered a grievous early trauma… and she’s wounded. Yet she’s also slyly, coolly observant and has transformed her experiences into art… We know her, ultimately, through the book she has written. The narrative specifics she selects to describe the men are hers, as is the deadpan humor; all of it arises from her artistic consciousness.
“Although in style and tone 52 Men differs from either Elizabeth Hardwick’s Sleepless Nights or Renata Adler’s Speedboat, it is, like both of these books, a novel of impressions unified by the author’s sensibility.”
– Selections from the essay Why Can’t You Be Sweet by New Yorker/New York Times/Rolling Stone writer Amanda Fortini in the Los Angeles Review of Books