Maidenhead Paperback – Apr 15 2012
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'Tamara Faith Berger has been writing challenging and sexy books for more than a decade, but this novel is her best yet. She handles race and class as deftly as she does the effects of internet pornography on our sex lives and our moral lives subjects that might be turned into excuses for sermons, but which she renders in original and shocking ways.' - The Believer
'For those of us who secretly read V.C. Andrews and The Story of O under the covers with flashlights in early adolescence, Tamara Faith Berger is our grownup literary saint. Her prose has consistently traversed extreme, forbidden territory, infusing filth with intelligence and sophistication unseen in much of Canadian literature.' National Post
'Maidenhead is a mesmerizing and important novel, lying somewhere between the wilds of Judy Blume, Girls Gone Wild, and Michel Foucault. It's a thrilling, brilliant, and really hot place to be.' Sheila Heti, Globe and Mail
'At the risk of sounding grandiose, Maidenhead is a masterpiece: a richly layered, complexly rendered, rhythmically written, and brilliantly executed meditation on power, desire, and consciousness.' Quill and Quire
'Maidenhead is a corrective to Houellebecq's tales of sex starved, middleaged masculinity, allowing us to see, finally, from the perspective of the budding slut herself ... [A] fast, engrossing, disquietingly erotic read.' Maisonneuve
About the Author
Tamara Faith Berger was born in Toronto. She wrote porn stories for a living and attempted to make dirty films before publishing her first book, Lie With Me , in 1999. It was made into a film in 2004. In 2001, A Woman Alone at Night was published. Her third book, Maidenhead , won the 2012 Believer Book Award.
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Top Customer Reviews
Sixteen-year-old Myra's fascinated exploration of pornography and the slave/master relationship coincides with the breakdown of her parent's marriage; her world is being rearranged around her while she struggles to find her voice and self identity.
The nihilation of familial stability comes at a time of vulnerability; Myra is alone ' her mother has gone to Seoul and she isolates herself from those who could help her.
But she doesn't want help; she says 'It was my conscious intention to trespass into a forbidden field of behavior.' But she is sixteen, she is raw and willing to pursue the path that she tells herself she wants.
Can it be that she is angry ' faced with the loss her mother she feels abandoned
Maidenhead can easily be interpreted as a porn missive in a literary wrapping but I think it's so much more that that; it's the psychological study of a girl at a fragile moment, a girl who literally opens her arms to an obsessive and violent relationship with a Tanzanian musician and black woman artist from Kentucky.
Perhaps this is in part an attempt to fill the emptiness left by her mother: she has been abandoned and angry, she will take this even further, distilling every relationship to that of slave and master and seeking the purest, most visceral expression of that ' porn.
Myra says: 'Sublation meant cancelling out and preservation; both, together at the same time.'
There are times in life when the world shifts gears on us and our responses don't come down to fight or flight; there's the desire to disappear and yet survive.Read more ›
there is little titilation here, but from the perspective of gaining an insight into the workings of the awakening sexual mind it is quite fascinating and i suppose for a younger reader (i am 68) it contains a degree of arousal.
being an avid student of human sexuality, i have spent many an hour on various websites where people of all ages can express their sexual proclivities in the most graphic detail.
i have thus discovered that the preoccupations of "maidenhead"'s protagonist are expressed by youths from age 12 onward which makes me wonder if the age of 16 of the book's main character is a nod to canada's recent laws of consent (raised to 16 from 14)
and yes, at times i was brought to recall those days long ago when the urges were so acute that immediate release was the only course of action
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
I can see why many would find it hard to feel anything for this book, I can even understand why someone would hate it. This book is the truth and crap like this happens every day to teens around the world. Those who will read and love can accept that as truth. Those who may dislike this book simply cannot or may not want to.
The bits about the porn were a riot though. Enjoy!
Myra, naive and curious, is on a family vacation to the southernmost tip of Florida - a mangy Key West full of Spring Breakers. Here, suffering through the embarrassments of a family on the verge of splitting up, she meets Elijah, a charismatic Tanzanian musician who seduces her at the edge of the tourist zone. Myra longs to lose her virginity to Elijah, and is shocked to learn he lives with Gayl, a secretive and violent woman with a strange power over him. Myra and her family return to an unnamed, middle-class, grey Canadian city and she falls in with a pot-smoking, intellectual anarchist crowd. When Gayl and Elijah travel north and infiltrate Myra's life, she walks willingly into their world: Myra continues to experiment sexually with Elijah, while Gayl plays an integral part in the increasingly abject games. Maidenhead traverses the desperate, wild spaces of a teenage girl's self-consciousness. How does a girl feel scared? What is she scared of? And how does telling yourself not to be scared really work? As Myra enters worlds unfamiliar of sex, porn, race and class, she explores territories unknown in herself
I don't want to make this review extremely long so like all my other reviews
I will tell you what my feelings are towards this book. I have put the book
description above so you can get a feeling of what the book is about I will
also provide a few other bloggers review at the bottom of this page that I
personally think capture the meaning of this book.
Sooo lets start!
I don't understand how some people are comparing this book to 50 Shades Of
Gray, this book is not anything close to that. For those of you that are leaving
E.L James common on her wall saying things like "Take that!" or "What do you
have to say now?" You really don't understand your literature, no
offence, BUT you really need to go back to your ABCs and 123.
This book is very controversial, it's like a opera either you love it or you hate it
but either way you get to appreciate it.
After reading this book I certainly understand why it is such a big controversy in
some of the reviews. It is understandable why not everyone will embrace it, let
alone love this book. For many, this book is interpreted as massive porn of
literature. With out any plot or meaning or concept to a real teenagers'
Jacqueline Valencia said "A teenage girls' journey in sexuality" (Goodreads)
I completely understand why she is saying that. This book is not about porn
or Dom/Sub relationship is has nothing to do with erotic scenes or will it
develop love. This is a story of a girl that is fragile and has no true
understanding of how to deal with her life so she does what a lot of
teenager do, get involve with the wrong people. She opens and trusts two
violent artists from Kentucky that gets her in the middle of an exploration
of pornography and master/slave relationship that is full of humiliation and
Others blogger review
-Lisa de Nikolits in Goodreads:[...]
-Tracey in Goodreads: [...]
** For this and other review visit my blog:[...]
***I received this book to review from Netgalley and Coach House Books. Thank you for the opportunity.
No incentive was offered or accepted for a favorable rating or review.