Edited by Garth Greenwell and R.O. Kwon. Simon & Schuster, $17 trade paper (272p) ISBN 978-1-9821-1021-5
Greenwell and Kwon deliver on their promise to “take kink seriously” in this enticing, wide-ranging collection that plumbs the depths of desire and control. Several passages capture the delicate nature of dominant/submissive relationships—“I think you have the capacity to hurt me the way I need you to,” says a submissive woman after a marriage proposal in Roxane Gay’s “Reach”; “Dee needed to be in control to give up control,” reflects the narrator of Kim Fu’s “Scissors”—and the euphoria that can come from punishment, as in Greenwell’s “Gospodar,” in which a dominant “master” humiliates the gay male narrator by undermining his masculinity. The strongest entries tend to be the naughtiest. Among them, Alexander Chee’s “Best Friendster Date Ever” captures the “rich shame and defiant pleasure” of a kinky sexual encounter; Kwon’s “Safeword” follows how a married couple rejuvenate their sex life by visiting a dungeon; and Peter Mountford’s “Impact Play” finds a fetish-loving couple attending a Kinkfest before a family visit. But Brandon Taylor’s understated “Oh, Youth,” about an aging, rich married couple and the young man they hire to live with them for the summer, is perhaps the most transgressive. This visionary anthology successfully explores the range of sexual potency in the characters’ power plays. (Feb.)
Reviewed on : 10/06/2020
Release date: 02/01/2021
Genre: Fiction
Downloadable Audio - 978-1-7971-2313-4
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