The Bedtrick

Tales of Sex and Masquerade

By Wendy Doniger
(University Of Chicago Press, Paperback, 9780226156439, 576pp.)

Publication Date: December 2005

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Description

"Somehow I woke up one day and found myself in bed with a stranger." Meant literally or figuratively, this statement describes one of the best-known plots in world mythology and popular storytelling. In a tour that runs from Shakespeare to Hollywood and from Abraham Lincoln to Casanova, the erudite and irrepressible Wendy Doniger shows us the variety, danger, and allure of the "bedtrick," or what it means to wake up with a stranger.

The Bedtrick brings together hundreds of stories from all over the world, from the earliest recorded Hindu and Hebrew texts to the latest items in the Weekly World News, to show the hilariously convoluted sexual scrapes that people get into and out of. Here you will find wives who accidentally commit adultery with their own husbands. You will learn that in Hong Kong the film The Crying Game was retitled Oh No! My Girlfriend Has a Penis. And that President Clinton was not the first man to be identified by an idiosyncratic organ. Funny, sexy, and engaging, The Bedtrick is a masterful work of energetic storytelling and dazzling scholarship. Give it to your spouse and your lover.

"Doniger seduces the reader with her casual erudition, tempering the dizzying accumulation of evidence with wry asides."—Edward Rothstein, New York Times




About the Author

Wendy Doniger is the Mircea Eliade Professor of the History of Religions in the Divinity School and a professor in the Department of South Asian Languages and Civilizations and the Committee on Social Thought at the University of Chicago. She is the author of numerous books, including, most recently, The Woman Who Pretended to Be Who She Was

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