Monday, April 18, 2005

Cosmo or CoZMo? And Some Thoughts on Hot Sizzlingness

So I mentioned this "Cosmo girl" thing to my parents support group and two people, separately, asked me, "Oh, so your son got an insulin pump!" They were referring to this handy device, commonly known as the CoZMo...

Having a kid with diabetes even changes our language! Psst, I'll give anyone a trophy who can correctly use the verb "bolus" in a sentence...

Now, I was thinking a bit about this Cosmo thing. Don't get me wrong, I'm THRILLED TO PIECES by the review. But you just have to look at the cover to know what Cosmo is selling. That, and being nominated for the Henry Miller Literary Award have me thinking about authors who write candidly about sex but who are taken seriously, whose work has amazing literary value... authors whose work I truly admire. I've linked them here, along with their websites, if they have one. This list is not in any particular order, just the order in which they came to mind.

1) Joyce Carol Oates. She's a goddess. A literary genius. In my dreams, I am her puppy dog. What HASN'T Joyce Carol Oates written about, for heaven's sakes, from children's books to horror stories to candid explorations of sex? Well, Faithless: Tales of Transgression is one of the most provocative, and brilliant, story collections I have ever read. The story "Gunlove" alone is worth the cover price. Oates does not maintain a website, but some loyal fans of hers do at Celestial Timepiece.

2) Mary Gaitskill. Here's a link to the Amazon page for Bad Behavior, her first collection. These are incredible stories about women on the fringe. Gaitskill is very reclusive and doesn't have a website. Doesn't seem to have hurt her any~

3) Stephen Elliott. I've blogged before about Happy Baby, an absolutely amazing novel about a boy who grows up as a Ward of the State of Illinois. Elliott's site is here.

4) A.M. Homes. Homes tells a memorable anecdote about reading "A Real Doll," a story from her collection The Safety of Objects, in front of her grandmother. The story, about a boy who has a torrid affair with his sister's Barbie Doll, includes some graphic and darkly hilarious scenes. Homes doesn't have a website either.

5) J.T. LeRoy. The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things was one of the saddest books I've encountered in the last few years. You can visit LeRoy's site here.

These authors have all fearlessly written about sex while remaining in the camp of literary fiction. And so I come back to that quote from Henry Miller (who belongs in that camp, too) that I mentioned earlier...

"Everything we shut our eyes to, everything we run away from, everything we deny, denigrate or despise, serves to defeat us in the end."~Henry Miller