Sunday, May 16, 2021

Six of the best books about sex

Kate Lister is a lecturer in the School of Arts and Communication at Leeds Trinity University.

She is the author of A Curious History of Sex and won the Sexual Freedom award for publicist of the year in 2017.

At the Guardian Lister tagged six of her favorite books about the beauty, ugliness and joy of sexuality. One title on the list:
Vénus Noire: Black Women and Colonial Fantasies in Nineteenth-Century France by Robin Mitchell is an impeccably researched history of how ideas of blackness and black women were appropriated by 19th-century white French culture as hypersexual, predatory and “exotic”. It opens with the story of Sarah Baartman, the so-called “Hottentot Venus” who was paraded on tour before white paying tourists, and Mitchell’s passionate rejection of the idea that historians should be objective and unemotional about their subject. The book is a triumph not only because it shows how narratives around black women’s bodies have evolved, but because Mitchell unashamedly makes the personal political.
Read about another entry on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue