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The Bedtrick: Tales of Sex and Masquerade Hardcover – Sep 1 2000


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Amazon.ca First Novel Award - 6 Canadian Novels Make the Shortlist



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"Ms. Doniger seduces the reader with her casual erudition, tempering the dizzying accumulation of evidence with wry asides." -- New York Times

"The mix of ancient myths and contemporary stories is fiercely entertaining, [and Doniger's] commentaries are both lewd and learned." -- National Post

"[A] tour de force, tracing over three thousand years of storytelling about sexual relations." -- Women's Review of Books

"[A] triumph. . . . [The Bedtrick] provide[s] an astonishingly rich reading experience." -- Times Literary Supplement

"[F]ascinating. . . . The Bedtrick will offer up some pearls of comparative wisdom and maybe even a few really wild dreams." -- Chicago Tribune Books

From the Publisher

In a tour that runs from Shakespeare to Hollywood and from Abraham Lincoln to Casanova, the erudite and irrepressible Wendy Doniger shows us the variety, danger, and allure of the "bedtrick," or what it means to wake up with a stranger. The Bedtrick brings together hundreds of stories from all over the world, from the earliest recorded Hindu and Hebrew texts to the latest item in the Weekly World News, to show the hilariously convoluted sexual scrapes that people manage to get themselves into and out of. At the bottom of these wonderful stories, ancient myths, and historical anecdotes lie the dynamics of sex and gender, power and identity. Why can't people tell the difference in the dark? Can love always tell the difference between one lover and another? And what kind of truth does sex tell anyway? Funny, sexy, and engaging, The Bedtrick is a masterful work of energetic storytelling and dazzling scholarship.

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First Sentence
You go to bed with someone you think you know, and when you wake up you discover that it was someone else—another man or another woman, or a man instead of a woman, or a woman instead of a man, or a god, or a snake, or a foreigner or alien, or a complete stranger, or your own wife or husband, or your mother or father. Read the first page
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Amazon.com: 1 review
Intriguing collection! Jan. 22 2015
By Jinny Webber - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Wendy Doniger comes through again. This book is a delightful compilation of myths and tales involving the device knows as a bed trick, where one believes he or she is sleeping with someone other than the real person beside them. Shakespeare makes brilliant use of this device in All's Well that Ends Well and Measure for Measure. I was intrigued to read how far back in time the stories go, and in what a variety of cultures.

Volume 3 of my Shakespeare Actor Trilogy was entitled Bedtrick before I encountered Doniger's book. I have a different slant on that plot device than any of her tales, but then, mine is a novel, due out in the Fall of 2015. Each book of Wendy Doniger's expands her range, and The Bedtrick is an impressive addition to her works.


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