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Scary Old Sex
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Published:
Bloomsbury Publishing 2016
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Description
A woman goes about certain rituals of sex with her second husband, sharing the bed with the ghosts of her sexual past. A beautiful young art student embarks on an affair with a much older, married, famous artist. A middle-aged woman struggles with the decline of her mother, once glamorous and still commanding; their fraught relationship causes unexpected feelings, both shaming and brutal. A man finds that his father has died while in the midst of extra-marital sex and wonders what he should do with the body. And a boy sits in his Calculus class, fantasizing about a schoolmate's breasts and worrying about his father lying in hospital, as outside his classroom window the Twin Towers begin to fall.
In this stunning, taboo-breaking debut, Arlene Heyman, a practicing psychiatrist, gives us what really goes on in people's minds, relationships, and beds. Raw, tender, funny, truthful and often shocking, Scary Old Sex is a fierce exploration of the chaos and beauty of life.
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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
03/08/2016
Language:
English
ISBN:
9781632862358
ASIN:
B015JJ8TNG
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Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

Arlene Heyman. (2016). Scary Old Sex. Bloomsbury Publishing.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Arlene Heyman. 2016. Scary Old Sex. Bloomsbury Publishing.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Arlene Heyman, Scary Old Sex. Bloomsbury Publishing, 2016.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Arlene Heyman. Scary Old Sex. Bloomsbury Publishing, 2016. Web.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2010. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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Date Added:
Jun 12, 2018 17:34:23
Date Updated:
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Jul 03, 2022 08:58:57
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      • bioText: Arlene Heyman is the author of Scary Old Sex, and a recipient of Woodrow Wilson, Fulbright, Rockefeller, and Robert Wood Johnson fellowships. She has been published in the New American Review and other journals, won Epoch magazine's novella contest, and has been listed twice in the honor rolls of The Best American Short Stories. Heyman is a psychiatrist/psychoanalyst practicing in New York City. This is her first novel.
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A woman goes about certain rituals of sex with her second husband, sharing the bed with the ghosts of her sexual past. A beautiful young art student embarks on an affair with a much older, married, famous artist. A middle-aged woman struggles with the decline of her mother, once glamorous and still commanding; their fraught relationship causes unexpected feelings, both shaming and brutal. A man finds that his father has died while in the midst of extra-marital sex and wonders what he should do with the body. And a boy sits in his Calculus class, fantasizing about a schoolmate's breasts and worrying about his father lying in hospital, as outside his classroom window the Twin Towers begin to fall.
In this stunning, taboo-breaking debut, Arlene Heyman, a practicing psychiatrist, gives us what really goes on in people's minds, relationships, and beds. Raw, tender, funny, truthful and often shocking, Scary Old Sex is a fierce exploration of the chaos and beauty of life.
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title
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fullDescription
A woman goes about certain rituals of sex with her second husband, sharing the bed with the ghosts of her sexual past. A beautiful young art student embarks on an affair with a much older, married, famous artist. A middle-aged woman struggles with the decline of her mother, once glamorous and still commanding; their fraught relationship causes unexpected feelings, both shaming and brutal. A man finds that his father has died while in the midst of extra-marital sex and wonders what he should do with the body. And a boy sits in his Calculus class, fantasizing about a schoolmate's breasts and worrying about his father lying in hospital, as outside his classroom window the Twin Towers begin to fall.
In this stunning, taboo-breaking debut, Arlene Heyman, a practicing psychiatrist, gives us what really goes on in people's minds, relationships, and beds. Raw, tender, funny, truthful and often shocking, Scary Old Sex is a fierce exploration of the chaos and beauty of life.
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reviews
      • premium: False
      • source: New York Times
      • content: In Arlene Heyman's first book, the short-story collection Scary Old Sex, she pays such sustained and stylish attention to late-life lovemaking . . . that you may feel you are reading about it for the first time . . . Rueful and funny and observant . . . Heyman is an enlightened observer across many aspects of life . . . One of the takeaways from "Scary Old Sex" is that old sex isn't so scary at all. These men and women are busily and blissfully humanizing themselves, the kind of bliss that lifts right off the page.
      • premium: False
      • source: Wall Street Journal
      • content: A terrific story collection . . . Ms. Heyman is frank in her descriptions, but never cruel or unfeeling . . . a tender, perceptive work.
      • premium: False
      • source: San Francisco Chronicle
      • content: [An] impressive collection . . . Heyman takes on the brutal intimacy of death and aging and provides new ways of seeing and experiencing these stages of life.
      • premium: False
      • source: The Buffalo News
      • content: Witty, layered and often profound . . . Heyman's stories . . . are not only unforgettable but sophisticated, and edgy.
      • premium: False
      • source: Kirkus Reviews
      • content: [An] unflinchingly candid collection . . . [Their] flaws make these characters so real and dimensional, their stories so readable and resonant . . . Heyman has been described as [Bernard] Malamud's muse. Judging from these stories, he may have been hers as well. The stories in this keenly observed collection lay bare truths—some comforting, others uncomfortable—about love and sex, aging and acceptance.
      • premium: False
      • source: The Book Reader
      • content: The seven stories in this collection are all raw, open-hearted and tender without ever going soft.
      • premium: False
      • source: The Guardian
      • content: The graphic, funny, tender and shocking stories in New York psychiatrist Arlene Heyman's debut collection are aptly titled . . . Scary Old Sex has a lot more literary history and mystery going for it than most first-time collections. It's always an event when the silent muse speaks up for herself, and in Heyman's case, the muse's voice is lusty, tough and life-affirming.
      • premium: False
      • source: Literary Review
      • content: Arlene Heyman . . . who is in her seventies, is a practicing psychiatrist in New York City. The elderly men and women she writes about in Scary Old Sex with a sometimes disconcerting tenderness have never even considered celibacy as an option . . . The second story in the book is dedicated to the memory of Bernard Malamud . . . She still acknowledges her immense debt to him, which she repays with the kind of quiet, unexpected insights into human behavior of which he was such a master . . . A joyful, joyous debut.
      • premium: False
      • source: Daily Telegraph
      • content: A taboo-breaking new book . . . These earthy, eye-opening and authentic tales tell uncomfortable truths about what really goes on in people's minds, and people's beds . . . Though her characters' flaws, fears and phobias feel all too real, Heyman's treatment of them is honest, human and kind—her themes drawing on nearly three quarters of a century of life lived to the full.
      • premium: False
      • source: The Independent
      • content: Both funny and eye-wateringly explicit.
      • premium: False
      • source: Sunday Telegraph
      • content: Arlene Heyman's debut volume of short stories, Scary Old Sex, hits the reader in the psyche, the gut and the groin with the force of a precision-aimed slingshot . . . Shocking, mesmerising and truthful . . . A couple of years ago, when I was compiling Erotic Stories for Everyman's Library, I was distressed by the lack of short fictions about older lovers and, even more so, the silence on married sex. These bracing, brilliant tales have just amended that injustice. *****
      • premium: False
      • source: The Independent
      • content: Told with warmth and honesty . . . The punning title of this debut collection of tales nicely sums up its themes: sex can be scary, when it involves emotional intimacy, and the thought of older people having sex often scares younger ones. American writer Arlene Heyman turns such worries into wryly comic affect . . . Delivers a
      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        Starred review from January 1, 2016
        This debut story collection by a New York-based psychiatrist/psychoanalyst with long-standing literary connections delves into the complicated relationships and intimate sex lives of mature couples. Old (and middle-aged) people have sex, too: appointment sex and spontaneous sex, passionate sex and perfunctory sex, sex with young lovers and aging spouses. That's the key takeaway from this unflinchingly candid collection. With a few notable exceptions, the women on whom the bulk of Heyman's stories center have lived and loved. Many have raised children, lost longtime partners, and survived to love again. But "scary old sex," to borrow Heyman's perhaps only partly ironic titular description, may involve squinting past sagging flesh, wrinkles, and puckers, accepting thinning hair (a byproduct of aging that apparently affects areas beyond one's head), readying boxes of tissues and K-Y Jelly, and, most challenging of all, learning to meld oneself to a new partner who differs in startling and lamentable ways from the youthful loves of yore. "He came in naked and she remembered again why she did not like to make love in the daytime," Marianne, the remarried widow who narrates the collection's first story, "The Loves of Her Life," remarks of her kindly second husband, Stu. "She joked sometimes that no one over forty should be allowed to make love in the daytime. There he was, every wrinkle exposed, as if he were in a Lucian Freud painting." Marianne and the other women Heyman evokes are equally imperfect--occasionally cruel, sometimes neglectful, often regretful. But these very flaws make these characters so real and dimensional, their stories so readable and resonant. Are Heyman's stories, which reflect three decades of work, based on the lives of her patients, her own life, a product of her imagination? The reader may well wonder. Yet one story, "In Love With Murray," which follows the affair of an older artist and a young art student and which was written "in memory of Bernard Malamud," may well have been inspired by the author's reputed affair with the renowned author, with whom she studied as a young coed at Bennington College. Heyman has been described as Malamud's muse. Judging from these stories, he may have been hers as well. The stories in this keenly observed collection lay bare truths--some comforting, others uncomfortable--about love and sex, aging and acceptance.

        COPYRIGHT(2016) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        March 1, 2016
        Short stories about people enjoying carnal pleasures might not scandalize many twentieth-century readers. But Heyman's honest, thought-provoking tales about elderly and physically imperfect people, their wrinkly bodies up against one another, are certain to shock many, especially the under-30 set. Just the notion that the protagonist in The Loves of Her life has some pretty steamy fantasies while engaging in coitus with her 70-plus spouse diverges unnervingly from mainstream depictions of sexual encounters. Heyman, a distinguished psychiatrist-psychoanalyst, goes even further into the realities of old age, portraying two senior participants who must consider such things as acid reflux and erectile dysfunction pills in order to perfectly time a romantic rendezvous. She also addresses the universal reluctance to even think about parents having sex in Night Call, in which a man is confronted with his father's infidelity when he dies in the arms of his mistress. Not all of Heyman's frank stories are totally sexual; some are sad, some amusing, but all are poignant and all widen our view of what it means to be human.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2016, American Library Association.)

popularity
69
publisher
Bloomsbury Publishing
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