Thursday, August 18, 2011

We So Seldom Look on Love

We So Seldom Look on Love by Barbara Gowdy

This is a collection of short stories, nearly all of which feature characters who are disabled or deformed or otherwise different. Ok, some of the characters are female, and not all of them make for orgasmic fantasies, but all the stories are really interesting and very well written. The title story in particular is one of Devo Girl’s favorites. It’s about a young girl who is a necrophile, not that Devo Girl is also into dead bodies (she isn’t) but the descriptions of her coming to terms with her sexual deviance are touchingly real. After she reveals her secret to a friend and is rejected, she says, “I cried at what seemed like a cruel loss. I think I knew it was all loneliness from that moment on. Even though I was only thirteen, I was cutting any lines that still drifted out towards normal eroticism. Bosom friends, pajyama-party intimacy, I was cutting all those lines off.” It makes us cry every time. No other story captures so well the frustration and the thrill of having a strange secret fetish. This story was also made into a movie under the title Kissed.

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