Borchardt Agency
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Plume (2022-08-09)
Current material
Final Pages
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Truth, Pleasure, and an Unfinished Revolution

by Aronowitz, Nona

From Teen Vogue sex and love columnist Nona Willis Aronowitz, a blend of memoir, social history, and cultural criticism that explores the new "problem that has no name" when it comes to female desire, seeking answers from the author's life and family history as well as from revolutionaries of the past.

The daughter of Ellen Willis (of Second Wave Feminist fame), Nona grew up not only believing the feminist revolution was thriving, but that she was a result: She was sexually liberated, wrote her college thesis on 1970s porn, and had genuinely good sex from the time she was a teen. But then at twenty-four, she entered into an ironic and unplanned marriage that become a surprisingly seductive trap into conventional life. But eight years later that partnership was starting to show signs of wear and eventually culminated in divorce. It was in that moment of personal sea change and political tumult that Nona turned to her late mother's writing (and other revolutionaries of the past) for guidance, all while navigating the modern dating world. In a time when sex has never been more accepted and feminism has never been more mainstream, what does it mean to be sexually liberated?

For readers of Rebecca Traister and Rebecca Solnit, Bad Sex is a brave, bold, and vulnerable exploration of the enduring barriers of sexual freedom, which lays bare the triumphs and flaws of contemporary feminism and also helps shine a light on universal questions of desire.

Nona Aronowitz is the sex and love columnist for Teen Vogue and the author (along with Emma Bee Bernstein) of Girldrive: Criss-crossing America, Redefining Feminism (Seal Press, 2009). Her work has been published in the New York Times, The Cut, Elle, VICE, Washington Post, Playboy, and The Atlantic. She is also the editor of an award- winning anthology of Ellen Willis's rock criticism, called Out of the Vinyl Deeps (Univ. of Minnesota Press, 2011), as well as a comprehensive collection of her work, The Essential Ellen Willis (Univ. of Minnesota Press, 2014), which won the National Book Critics Circle award for Criticism.

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A Teen Vogue columnist reckons with her personal connection to American feminism in Bad Sex. After growing up in the shadow of her mother - famous Second Wave feminist Ellen Willis - Nona Willis Aronowitz found herself living the white-picket-fence life her mom's contemporaries railed against. When Aronowitz was thrust back into the dating pool at the end of her marriage, though, she turned to her mother's writing for guidance.

Review: Bustle, Most Anticipated Books Of August 2022

[This history is] critical and fascinating, as a framework to interpret society's views on love and sex in the present.

Review: New York Times

Aronowitz is exceedingly well-read, and her book is stuffed with wisdom gleaned from her elders... These historical sections are unfailingly illuminating.

Review: The Atlantic

Aronowitz's chatty tone and corpuscular language explodes myths in ways that will help readers clearly recognize the lies they've been fed. Highly recommended.

Review: Library Journal

...Cultural criticism, memoir, and social history collide in Aronowitz's no-nonsense investigation of all that ails young lovers, like questions about desire, consent, and patriarchy. It's a revealing read bound to expand your thinking.

Review: Esquire, The 20 Best Books of Summer 2022

Everybody's always talking about sex, but Nona Willis is truly saying something about it in Bad Sex... Aronowitz invites the reader into a conversation we may want to shy away from, but does so with so much enthusiasm and curiosity of her own we can't help but follow her down another rabbit hole or into another memory. All roads are littered with jewels in this gorgeous exploration of humanity and desire.

Quote: Ashley C. Ford, author of New York Times bestseller Somebody’s Daughter

Nona Aronowitz in a discussion about Who Actually Lost the Sex Wars?

Quote: The Cut

Nona Willis Aronowitz Knows Good (and Bad) Sex... She spoke with about the radical nature of seeking sexual happiness in a post-Roe v. Wade world, the privileges of pairing off, and much more.

Quote: Elle

Bonus Episode with Nona Willis Aronowitz about Bad Sex

Quote: HERstory On the Rocks

Intimate, thoughtful, and accessible to anyone struggling with the persistent, maddening inequities of contemporary sex.

Quote: Rebecca Traister, author of New York Times bestseller Good and Mad

...a brave, bold, and vulnerable exploration of what sexual freedom can mean. Bad Sex is Nona's own journey to sexual satisfaction and romantic happiness, which not only lays bare the triumphs and flaws of contemporary feminism but also shines a light on universal questions of desire.

Review: Hasty Book List, Best of August 2022

Former Teen Vogue Sex and Love columnist Nona Willis Aronowitz searches for authentic intimacy, exploring ideas around contemporary sex and the ways the sexual revolution has failed us with stories of "ambivalent wives and unchill sluts", in addition to sex workers, "radical lesbians", and "woke misogynists". Gang's all here!

Review: Nylon, August 2022’s Must-Read Books

...Within Bad Sex, Aronowitz introduces readers to fervent sluts and ambiguous wives, radical lesbians and liberationist lovers, all to discover how we reconcile ourselves and our desires in this time when both are under assault.

Review: The Millions, Most Anticipated

Porn Wars w. Nona Willis Aronowitz - This week we're going on a field trip to Times Square with Nona Willis Aronowitz, author of Bad Sex, to learn about Deep Throat, "porno chic," and the unresolved feminist battle over whether to eradicate pornography or make more of it...

Quote: You're Wrong About exquisitely researched, joyfully conversational take on sexual oppression and sexual revolutions throughout history, as well as a deeply heartfelt memoir... This genuine and generous emotional offering is sure to make readers feel seen and heard, too.

Review: Booklist, starred review

An intelligent and disarmingly honest book about sex, love, marriage, radical feminism, the yearnings that echo across generations, and the true meaning of sexual liberation.

Quote: Amia Srinivasan, bestselling author of The Right to Sex

'We Should Be Articulating Joyful Alternatives': An Interview with Nona Willis Aronowitz

Quote: Hazlitt

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