The Best American Erotica 1996

Susie Bright, Author, Susie Bright, Editor Touchstone Books $12 (256p) ISBN 978-0-684-81830-6
Bright has outdone herself in putting together the latest edition of this annual series. You won't find one dud in the two dozen stories she's chosen. As in previous years, she's plumbed all the available resources--magazines, books, journals--to showcase new writers as well as established ones. These intoxicating stories, so diverse in style and content, are as surprising as they are satisfying. For those who like it dangerously rough there is the erotic horror of Lucy Taylor's ""Choke Hold"" and the feral ""The Hit"" by Aaron Travis (aka Steven Saylor). On the literary side is Cecilia Tan's ""Pearl Diver,"" a sensuous celebration of womanhood, and Bonny Finberg's ""Light,"" whose infant narrator exudes a stunning erotic sensibility. The sweeping current of skin-tingling drama that barrels through this anthology is tempered by a healthy dose of playfulness and humor. Robert Olen Butler offers the unforgettable, ""Jealous Husband Returns in Form of Parrot."" And hilarious stories like Lars Eighner's ""The Trade,"" in which a gay man finds himself turning straight against his will, and Joel Dailey's ""Progressive Lightning,"" whose narrator was born ""with the largest phallus on record,"" will make you laugh until it hurts. This very literary, Epicurean collection is guaranteed to stimulate both hormones and funnybones. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 10/07/1996
Release date: 10/01/1996
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