Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Ancient Evenings

At my Catholic all-girls high school, most of the library was dedicated to reference and nonfiction. There was one small room off the main room that housed all the fiction. It was jammed with books and had no place to sit except the floor. Which, for some reason, you were not supposed to sit on.

But there were only a few windows into the room, and they were high up and awkward to see into. So I probably spent hours sunk down into that floor with novels piled around me, putting off studying (we had modular scheduling, so would sometimes have hours of free time -- er, unscheduled time -- between classes).

I don't remember a lot of the books I read -- I read everything. Some classics, some garbage, some that wasn't either. But I do remember reading Norman Mailer's "Ancient Evenings," which was published in 1983, so it was just new when I was a sophomore or junior. AND OH MAN IS IT DIRTY! Mailer being a respected man of letters, the nuns probably ordered up the book and never looked back. But there was aaaalllll kinds of sex. I mean, I guess there's a plot too -- it's set in ancient Egypt, and there are gods and slaves and pyramids, reincarnation and harems and temples and whatnot. Which I am sure I would appreciate now, but at the time, that book practically FELL OPEN to the dirty parts. OF WHICH THERE ARE MANY.


Do you have a fondly remembered dirty book -- or a book you thought was dirty at the time? Did you pass Judy Blume's "Forever" around the school bus, or steal "Joy of Sex" from your friend's hippie mom? Do tell.

4 comments:

Elizabeth said...

The Clan of the Cave Bear series ... my GOODNESS!! I still remember it ...

Sylko said...

The Thornbirds. My friend paperclipped the good pages. I was 10 when I read it, & it did not make sex seem appealing.

Anonymous said...

My mom used to read all manner of romance novels. One day, while talking to my girlfriend on the phone, I casually mentioned that there was one of my mom's romance novels sitting nearby. "I bet it's really dirty!" she said. "I'm sure it's not," I replied. "They all are," she said. "Open it up and read me the first thing you see on the page."

I picked it up and opened it... and sure enough, it was an incredibly raunchy sex scene! Mom!!!

I don't remember what book it was, but that was definitely one of my more memorable phone conversations...

Anonymous said...

My mom's copy of Marilyn French's "The Ladies' Room" taught me everything I needed to know about pleasing a woman...decades before I'd get a chance to use the information.