The Best American Erotica 2006

Susie Bright, Editor . Touchstone $14 (238p) ISBN 978-0-7432-5852-4

With raunchy cable TV and porn readily available, fiction has to go deep, so to speak, in order to compete. This book doesn't always score on hotness; what it does best is push mainstream boundaries. While there are pieces from David Sedaris, John Updike and Tom Perrotta, it's the lesser-knowns who, um, go the furthest, and their inclusion shows just how far the sexual revolution has come. "Fairgrounds" by Peggy Munson is narrated by a teen who is smitten with transvestite "Daddy Billy," a "boi" whose rubber member electrifies his charge as he takes her to a carnival and pretend-pimps her to another person with a "not-so-certain gender situation." There are other stories with similarly "involved" scenarios and positions on the gender and sexuality continuum—and liberatingly so. Bright, who has edited the series for more than 10 years, hosts the show In Bed; her intro notes that it was antiporn activist Andrea Dworkin who inspired her to "question authority, to fly to a new dimension." While this book isn't transportive all the way through, its spirit of adventure is consistent. (Feb.)

Reviewed on: 12/12/2005
Release date: 01/01/2006
Paperback - 304 pages - 978-0-684-84396-4
Paperback - 272 pages - 978-0-684-86915-5
Paperback - 284 pages - 978-0-684-84395-7
Paperback - 239 pages - 978-0-7432-8962-7
Open Ebook - 224 pages - 978-1-4165-3853-0
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