Sex, Dating, Puberty, and Other Alarming Things
By Ashley Cardiff
(Gotham, Paperback, 9781592407866, 224pp.)
Publication Date: July 2, 2013
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From getting kicked out of Bible study to metaphysics with strippersa misanthrope's wickedly witty observations about the ridiculous, raunchy, and frequently disturbing impulses that propel human existence.
With the wit of David Sedaris and the analytical sharpshooting of Sloane Crosley, Ashley Cardiff spares no oneleast of all herselfin an absurd and relentlessly funny journey of sexual development.
Cardiff reflects on her introverted, awkward and too-smart teenage years to her slightly bolder (but still uncomfortable) adult relationships, all while exploring the rich anthropological terrain of sex and love. Expounding on dating Mormons, the inherent weirdness of adolescent development, sexual nightmare-fantasies about Prince, family members' sex tapes, and narrowly avoiding a teenage orgy, Cardiff recognizes sexuality for the anxiety-making force it is. Weaving adept analysis with hilarious anecdotes, she goes for something much deeper than a rant, crafting satire that's as smart as it is ruthless.
Delivering fresh, unapologetic views from the perspective of a precise and ferociously irreverent young female writer, Night Terrors is a rollicking manifesto on the agonies of modern life and love.
Ashley Cardiff is the deputy editor of The Gloss. She studied Classics in college and lives in Brooklyn for lack of imagination.
“laugh-inducing, highly relatable, and appealing”
“excellent new book of essays."
“For all the fun Cardiff makes of the idiocy of her youth, she astutely notes that ‘all feelings are at once more lucid and baroque when we’re seventeen.’ It’s to Cardiff’s credit that these feelings, no matter how overwrought they were at the time, are remembered here with humor, sensitivity, and wisdom.”
—Publishers Weekly, Starred Review & Pick of the Week
“Night Terrors reminds us that we all used to be younger and dumber, but the education we got along the way was priceless, and hindsight can make it hilarious.”