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Far From Flatbush

Climaxing Prose

I spent the better part of the summer dipping into a book called Girlfag, and I wanted to say a few words about it before it got buried in the onslaught of printed matter that accumulates in this house.

Though Girlfag (Beyond Binary Books) is not the kind of book I'd normally read, I met the author, Janet W. Hardy, at the BEA last year. She was (wo)manning the booth of our mutual distributor, SCB, and our books were on display, side-by-side. We got to talking, and Hardy, who's best known for her book The Ethical Slut, explained that girlfags--a term I’d never heard before--are women, like herself, who love, are attracted to, and identify with gay men.

Episodic and diary-like, Girlfag is a poetically rendered memoir, and Hardy is at her uninhibited best, or at least her most entertaining, when she’s writing about sex. Tossing around words like “cunt” and phrases like “mass of pussy hair,” her prose climaxes in such amusing passages as:

While cocksucking is not on my top-ten list of ways to while away the time—well, let’s face it, not even on the top-100 list—a cock is discernibly an appendage and not a giblet, and it is possible to suck a cock without getting pubic hair up your nose. I suffer, it seems, from cunniclaustrophobia.

So, yes, Girlfag is also erotica of sorts, but at its heart is the story of a courageous woman’s search for an unconventional identity.
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