*** Winner selected! Congratulations to Gary in Dallas, OR ***
“I find a list of pros and cons about me. Pro: Great sex. A good person. Con: Needy, both emotionally and financially.”
52 Men is a thinly veiled memoir by Louise Wareham Leonard, written in tiny, flash pieces. Each of the 52 snippets features a guy with whom the narrator had a relationship — some affairs brief, some longer, some intimate, some cruel.
The 52 men glimpsed through this book all are so unique — there’s one guy that sounds curiously like Jonathan Franzen, another who jousts with the narrator so she’ll remember him, several who die young…. The book’s like an ode to ex lovers but also an ode to the fragmentary memories of them.
After the flash pieces, this book ends with a longer short story about a girl who has a sexual relationship with her older step brother — at first as a young teen who’s being molested by him, later as a woman, consensually. This story goes to all the uncomfortable, murky, in-between places around consent, desire, history, and power and is sure to make you think and feel intensely for a long time after you’ve finished the slim volume.
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Come back mid-month to read a Five Firsts interview with Louise Wareham Leonard.