The Other Side of Desire

Four Journeys into the Far Realms of Lust and Longing

By Daniel Bergner
(Ecco, Hardcover, 9780060885564, 224pp.)

Publication Date: February 1, 2009

List Price: $24.99*
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Selected by Indie Booksellers for the February 2009 Indie Next List
“I very nearly couldn't put down Bergner's profile of four stories of desire, whether the account enthralled or repulsed me. His writing is captivating and fluid, telling of his discovery of concepts of desire that are new and unorthodox to him.”
-- Brent Humphreys, Davis-Kidd Booksellers, Nashville, TN


Description

How do we come to be who we are sexually?

How do we cope with the forces of desire?

How can we understand the relationship between the transcendent and the physical, between the wish for love and the anarchy of the erotic?

Daniel Bergner looks for answers in the stories of four people whose longings are very different from our own: a devoted husband burdened by an insatiable foot fetish, a clothing designer who finds ecstasy in the pain of others, a man smitten with his young stepdaughter, and an advertising director who casts traditionally beautiful models but who is attracted only to amputees. Bergner finds in their desires metaphors for the issues that confront us all and raises fascinating questions about the erotic differences between men and women and the nature of ecstasy itself: Are some people actually experiencing more ecstasy than the rest of us?

In speaking to experts in the fields of psychology and neurology, and by threading the personal stories of several modern-day Kinseys throughout his riveting case studies, Bergner has written a provocative, profoundly insightful, and brilliantly illuminating book about the most fundamental of human needs.




About the Author

Daniel Bergner is a contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine and the author of two previous books of nonfiction—In the Land of Magic Soldiers, a Los Angeles Times Best Book of the Year and winner of an Overseas Press Club Award and a Lettre Ulysses Award for the Art of Reportage; and God of the Rodeo, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. Bergner's writing has also appeared in Granta, Harper's Magazine, Mother Jones, Talk, the New York Times Book Review, and on the op-ed page of the New York Times, and is included in The Norton Reader: An Anthology of Nonfiction. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

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