About the Book: 52 sketches of men encountered by one young woman in Manhattan: famous, infamous, friend and villain. With cameos by Lou Reed, Michael Stipe, Jonathan Franzen, Jay Carney, and Carter Vanderbilt Cooper.
Review Why Can’t You Be Sweet? Amanda Fortini in the Los Angeles Review of Books
The Question of Loneliness Michelle Elvy in Landfall
Publisher: Red Hen Press
BUY: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Red Hen, major stores
Flash Frontier: An Interview with Louise Wareham Leonard
NPR Connections WXXI, 2016, 2015 Book Week, Podcasts on line
The Judith Regan Show August 29 2015
THIS IS A BOOK I WOULD LOVE TO HAVE WRITTEN: think of your life – peopled with your objects and subjects of desire/love/lust/curiosity. Give each one at least a paragraph. Distill the essence with details and/or impressions. What did each one teach you? How did each one (in some cases) harm you? What were you searching for on that sea of beds? What Leonard understands.. is how we remember these often brief encounters – as a phrase, a scent, an embarassment, a surprise….and Part Two is a revelation of a possible theme running throughout her experiences in a minor key….a too-young exposure (and many of us can relate)..which “colonizes desire” (from a great film “Things Behind the Sun”). Leonard took a risk with this book and dealt out her deck of 52–I’m very grateful she did.
Binnie Klein, Author, Radio Producer of A Miniature World
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.”
Why Can’t You Be Sweet by Amanda Fortini in the Los Angeles Review of Books
“I felt deeply sad upon finishing Louise Wareham Leonard’s new book, 52 Men. Its constituent 52 parts tells a story that fits right into our Tinder-times, even though Leonard is reporting back from the age before apps supported hook-ups. Dating can be a perilous business for the mind, heart and body, and it was both fascinating and sobering to read through the 52 encounters. But this book is more than just about dating 52 men; it is a book about the power dynamics that exist in our society between a rich man and a comparatively less wealthy woman; a famous man and and a non-famous woman; a girl and an older man. The complex layers of sexual desire, emotional torment, fun and recklessness are all in here; but there is not much love to be found. The final story explains why that might be so. And this left me sad.”
“Recollections, elegant in their precision, range from hilarious to heartbreaking… 52 Mencaptures what is most beautiful and elegant about growing up and seeking intimacy. The sex is both great and terrible. These vignettes ask readers to re-examine memory, hurt and healing, and the myriad ways we can, cannot, and long to be loved.”
Shakespeare and Company
“Lavishly gifted.” Darcy Cosper, Editor-in-Chief, The Offing
A fantastic book. Certainly told, teasingly engaged in celebrity, seemingly tough . . . but tender, quietly sad, tragic. One of the lightest/heaviest books I’ve read in some time.
Sean Bernard, Studies in the Hereafter
Striking and disorienting and sexy and sad and, to me anyway, somewhat frightening. Alva Noe, author of Strange Tools: Art and Human Nature
So powerful and unsettling and so gorgeously written, it haunts me.
An astonishing book.” Caroline Leavitt
Whip-smart, original and refreshing. Elissa Bassist
A profound and emotionally charged book that has pissed off quite a few men, and thrilled and empowered even more women. Kaylie Jones
An extraordinary book revealing 52 very different experiences with 52 very different men, love, despair, contempt, anger, bemused affection. Beautiful, precise sentences, unique yet understandable revelations, and now and then a twist of the knife which shows the pain experienced and never forgotten. A haunting work, a tremendously valuable volume – Stephen Policoff
From Kate Gale: Some men are angry about this book. Women are supposed to long for comfort, to weep, to wish, to pine, to wait by the phone. Our girl sallies off to the next date. She washes her hair and starts all over again. She will survive. She’s energetic. She’s sassy. She’s on to the next one. She dates Jonathan Franzen, Michael Stips, Lou Reed. She’s unstoppable, somewhat unstable, but dishy and cool. Lots of men don’t like smart; they like sweet. They don’t like a witty roil and tumble as much as fumble with their trousers in the dark. And speaking of the dark, this girl comes across as both brilliant and wounded and that might scare men too. Women will love this book; it’s already a buzz. Women like other women with power in their fingertips. In the author photo, Louise Wareham wears boots. And boots as we know, are made for walking.
“I’m not sure I’ve ever read a story of a life that’s both so moving and told with such breathtaking economy and precision. 52 Men gave me goose bumps again and again.” -Kurt Andersen