100 Strokes of the Brush Before Bed

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9781743108406: 100 Strokes of the Brush Before Bed
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Melissa begins her diary a virgin, but a stormy affair at the age of fourteen leads her to regard sex as a means of self-discovery, and for the next two years she plunges into a succession of encounters with various partners, male and female, her age and much older, some met through schoolmates, others through newspaper ads and Internet chat rooms. In graphic detail she describes her entry into a Dantesque underworld of eroticism, where she willingly participates in group sex and sadomasochism, as well as casual pickups. Melissa’s secret life is concealed from family and friends, revealed only in her diary entries. Told with disarming candour, Melissa P.’s bittersweet tour of extreme desires is as poignant as it is titillating. ‘It is easy to see why it was a massive bestseller in Italy ... clever, dark, gothic-style, twenty-first century fairy tale.’ ― The Barcelona Review ‘Melissa tells herself no fairy tales – and therein lies the odd, potent purity of these pages.’ ― Publishers Weekly ‘A book that has had a wallop of an impact ... readers have simply devoured it.’ ― The New York Times

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From Publishers Weekly:

A scandalous bestseller in her native Italy, Melissa P.'s avowedly autobiographical novel recounts a Sicilian schoolgirl's erotic adventures. "I want love, Diary," she writes just before her 15th birthday. "I want to feel my heart melt, want to see my icy stalactites shatter and plunge into a river of passion and beauty." Love may be hard to find, but sex waits at every turn, and Melissa seldom says no. In calmly vivid prose, she describes the varieties of experience, beginning with her introduction to oral sex: "I now had it before my eyes, it smelled male, and every vein that crossed it expressed such power that I felt duty-bound to reckon with it." This same sense of duty mandates sex with a woman, sex with an older man, sadomasochistic sex, group sex. Although her mother tells an ill Melissa a fable about a princess, Melissa tells herself no fairy tales—and therein lies the odd, potent purity of these pages.
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Review:

"A wisp of a book that has had a wallop of an impact . . . readers have simply devoured it." -The New York Times "The narrator brings an emotional authority to her work. . . . 100 Strokes is by turns romantic, erotic, sensationalistic, and disturbing." -Rachel Kramer Bussel, Bust "Rendered with language much more elegant and precise than one would ever expect from a mere teenager." -Corriere della Sera (Italy) "Scandalous, word perfect. . . . A story that cannot be put down told by an imperious personality whose passion overwhelms the reader." -Gazzeta del Sud (Italy)

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