A ROUND-HEELED WOMAN: My Late-Life Adventures in Sex and Romance

Jane Juska, Author . Villard $23.95 (288p) ISBN 978-1-4000-6011-5

Contrary to the lurid title (a "round-heeled woman" was once slang for a prostitute), Juska is a semiretired English teacher with refined tastes: Trollope novels, opera and museums. "Before I turn 67—next March," she wrote to the personals column of the New York Review of Books, "I would like to have a lot of sex with a man I like." While her adventures meeting these men frame her narrative, she's no geriatric Emmanuelle on a coast-to-coast fling, in spite of proclamations like "I adore penises." It's just that she was raised by repressed Midwesterners and had never managed—given her spiritual and physical bulk—a truly fulfilling love affair. Married to a loveless man, she then spent years in social retreat as a single mom. By the time she emerged from her chrysalis, she realized she'd never had a chance at pleasure, hence the ad and her comic adventures with the assortment of men culled from the daily mail. While it's no surprise that the best man comes last and that he's a hunk with a brilliant mind, this Harold-Maude liaison is hardly the most compelling chapter of this quirky little memoir. Surprisingly, it's Juska's accounts of visiting the Berg collection at the New York Public Library, or the stories of her writing classes at a prison, that remain in mind, long after her personals game has faded. Old women looking for sex may not seem a hot topic, but there's something universal in this woman's love affair with the written word. Agent, Ginger Barber. (On sale May 6)

Reviewed on: 03/03/2003
Release date: 05/01/2003
Hardcover - 288 pages - 978-0-7011-7693-8
Paperback - 288 pages - 978-0-09-946670-3
Open Ebook - 159 pages - 978-0-307-41444-1
Hardcover - 391 pages - 978-1-58724-502-2
Open Ebook - 288 pages - 978-1-4070-5303-5
Show other formats
The Best Books, Emailed Every Week
Tip Sheet!