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Saturday, October 28 • 2:00pm - 3:00pm
Fiction: The Naughty Bits

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Writing about sex in fiction is notoriously difficult; the UK’s Literary Review even acknowledges this conundrum with their annual Bad Sex in Fiction Award (which, for the record, is the one prize we’re sure none of this year’s BBF authors will win!). But what happens when novelists use sex not just to titillate, but as a jumping-off point to explore issues of gender, freedom, creativity, coming of age, or (gasp) love? Three accomplished novelists will discuss their latest work in a session that’s definitely rated PG-13. Local favorite Tom Perrotta (now a bona fide celebrity thanks to the success of The Leftovers on HBO) pens what’s been called a “coming of middle age” novel with Mrs. Fletcher, about an empty-nester whose online sexual awakening plays out in parallel with her college-aged son’s sexual frustrations. In Made for Love, Alissa Nutting traverses questions of intimacy and definitions of deviance in a quasi-absurdist novel that explores the needs of mind, body, and heart and that the New Yorker calls “a total joyride, dizzying and surprising.” And Daniel Handler, in a novel aptly titled All the Dirty Parts, employs the unapologetically raunchy musings of a sex-crazed high school boy to consider the nature of consent, the fluidity of sexual identity, and the development of empathy. No need to dog-ear the steamy passages here—you won’t want to miss a page of these novels, or a moment of the discussion, moderated by romance novelist and author most recently of Wilde in Love Eloisa James, the nom de plume of Fordham University English professor Mary Bly.

Moderators
avatar for Eloisa James

Eloisa James

Eloisa James (the nom de plume of Mary Bly) has a successful dual career as a Shakespearean scholar and a best-selling romance novelist. As Mary Bly, she is a literature professor at Fordham University and teaches courses in Shakespeare and early modern English theater. As Eloisa James, she has written more than two dozen historical romance novels, many drawn from the works of Shakespeare, and a memoir, Love in Paris (2012). She has written a fairy tale series, the Desperate Duchesses series, the Ladies Most series, the Pleasure series, the Duchess in Love series, and the Essex Sisters series, as well as some stand-alone novels. Her latest novel is... Read More →

Presenters
avatar for Daniel Handler

Daniel Handler

Daniel Handler is a man of many collaborations. He has worked with celebrated artist and illustrator Maira Kalman on a number of picture books, such as Weather, Weather and Girls Standing on Lawns. Their young adult novel, Why We Broke Up, was named a 2012 Printz Honor Book, a School Library Journal Best Book of the Year, a Kirkus Best Book of the Year, and among the best fiction for young adults by the ALA. As an accordion player, he has collaborated with Stephen Merritt and is a part-time member of the Magnetic Fields. But mostly, he just writes books by himself. He is the author of Watch Your Mouth (2002), The Basic Eight (2006), Adverbs (2007), and We Are Pirates (2015). His latest book is All the Dirty Parts, which... Read More →
avatar for Alissa Nutting

Alissa Nutting

Alissa Nutting has emerged as a provocative new voice in American literature. Her story collection, Unclean Jobs for Women and Girls (2010), won the Starcherone Prize for Innovative Fiction. Her debut novel, Tampa (2013) unflinchingly told the story of a twenty-six-year-old middle school teacher who starts an illicit relationship with a student. Her writing has also appeared in The Norton Introduction to Literature, Tin House... Read More →
avatar for Tom Perrotta

Tom Perrotta

Novelist and screenwriter Tom Perrotta was born in New Jersey and grew up playing baseball and football. He holds a BA from Yale University and an MFA from Syracuse University. He published his first book, the short story collection Bad Haircut: Stories of the Seventies, in 1994. The Wishbones, a comedic tale of a New Jersey wedding band, followed in 1997. In 1999 Perrotta published Election, several months before the film version, starring Matthew Broderick and Reese Witherspoon, was released. Election was followed by Joe College in 2000, Little Children in 2004, The Abstinence Teacher in 2007, and The Leftovers in 2011. Little Children was adapted into a film; Perrotta cowrote the... Read More →


Saturday October 28, 2017 2:00pm - 3:00pm
Emmanuel Sanctuary 15 Newbury Street, Boston, MA