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Wanderlust: Writers on Travel and Sex

Michael Hemmingson

3 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 1560254319 / ISBN 13: 9781560254317
Published by Thunder's Mouth Press, 2003
Used Condition: Very Good
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Bibliographic Details

Title: Wanderlust: Writers on Travel and Sex

Publisher: Thunder's Mouth Press

Publication Date: 2003

Book Condition:Very Good

About this title


There may never have been a time when men (and women) have not traveled for sex. The intrepid pedestrian Thomas Coryat, whose Crudities of 1611 was the first real travel guide, already notes that the allurements of the Venetian prostitutes have drawn trade from all of Christendom. For all epochs for which we have records it can be demonstrated that sex has been not merely supererogatory to travel but often its real impetus. And much of this sex has been bought and paid for. Until recently most expressions of this experience have been taboo. But in the last century, as the technological and economic power of the west, especially, enables more of its citizens to indulge in travel and the fantasies that impel them, a literature of sexual travel has emerged. Wanderlust is a voyeuristic collection by celebrants (and detractors) of the fugitive ecstasies, humiliations, and consequences of paying for sex far from home. Men and women, gay and straight, buyer and seller, amoral and conscience-stricken—all contribute a perspective on what can now be acknowledged a commonplace, though emotionally fraught and morally ambiguous, experience of the traveler. Included are selections from Stendahl, Timothy Mo, Nelson Algren, Alma Guillermoprieto, William T. Vollman, Marilyn Jaye-Lewis, Michel Houellebecq, Terry Southern, Christopher Isherwood, Joe Orton, Jonathan Ames, Rachel DeWoskin, and many others.

From Publishers Weekly:

Though its ambiguous subtitle might lead some readers to believe that this anthology is about the romantic frolics of tourists, O'Connor's volume is actually devoted to the subject of prostitution. The book presents some excellent selections on the topic-including Nathan Englander's well-known short story "For the Relief of Unbearable Urges" and an excerpt from Laura Kasischke's novel Suspicious River. However, overall, the book's 30 pieces are disappointingly repetitious in style and tone. Eleven of the selections-including "Whores" by James Crumley, "More Benadryl, Whined the Journalist" by William T. Vollmann and "Tijuana" by Michael Hemmingson-are first-person narratives about male characters who buy great sex off of very pretty Mexican, Asian or American hookers. The writing varies from non-fiction to fiction to pornography without warning. And since all of the entries are reprints or excerpts of previously published works, few new insights appear. Perhaps O'Connor meant to convey a particular point by pulling together such similar pieces, but the book contains no introductory material, biographical notes or explanations, leaving the reader to guess at the larger conceptual ideas that motivated this poorly organized book.
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