Daniel Handler in Conversation with Susie Bright

Wednesday, September 27, 2017 - 7:00pm

Bookshop Santa Cruz presents bestselling, award-winning author Daniel Handler (aka Lemony Snicket) in conversation with Susie Bright as they talk about his new novel, All the Dirty Parts, a gutsy, exciting novel that looks honestly at the erotic impulses of an all-too-typical young man. 

All The Dirty Parts is an unblinking take on teenage desire in a culture of unrelenting explicitness and shunted communication, where queer can be as fluid as consent, where sex feels like love, but no one knows what love feels like. With short chapters in the style of Jenny Offill or Mary Robison, Daniel Handler gives us a tender, brutal, funny, intoxicating portrait of an age when the lens of sex tilts the world. 

Cole is a boy in high school. He runs cross country, he sketches, he jokes around with friends. But none of this quite matters next to the allure of sex. "Let me put it this way," he says. "Draw a number line, with zero is you never think about sex and ten is, it’s all you think about, and while you are drawing the line, I am thinking about sex." Cole fantasizes about whomever he’s looking at. He consumes and shares pornography. And he sleeps with a lot of girls, which is beginning to earn him a not-quite-savory reputation around school. This leaves him adrift with only his best friend for company, and then something startling starts to happen between them that might be what he’s been after all this time—and then he meets Grisaille.

Daniel Handler is the author of the novels We Are Pirates, The Basic Eight, Watch Your Mouth, Adverbs, and Why We Broke Up, a 2012 Michael L. Printz Honor Book. As Lemony Snicket, he is responsible for many books for children, including the thirteen-volume sequence A Series of Unfortunate Events and the four-book series All the Wrong Questions. He is married to the illustrator Lisa Brown, and lives with her and their son in San Francisco.

Best-selling author Susie Bright, the country’s preeminent feminist sex writer, is one of the world’s most respected voices on sexual politics, as well as an award-winning author and editor who’s produced and published thousands of the finest writers and journalists working in American literature and progressive activism today. She is the author of six national best-sellers, including The Sexual State of the Union & Full Exposure and is a contributing editor at the New York Times Book Review, San Francisco Review of Books, Salon, Forum, BUST, Jezebel, and Talking Points Memo. She lives in Santa Cruz.

"This interesting experiment by Handler may be the most clear-eyed and honest portrayal of the sexuality of adolescent boys in recent memory--it's raw, authentic, fitfully funny, and tragic all at the same time . . . A disarming cautionary tale that's just naughty enough to be kept from Handler's Lemony Snicket fans but real enough to spark genuine conversations about sex and its consequences."—starred review, Kirkus Reviews

"Handler continues his recent endeavor to boldly straddle the divide between teen and adult books . . . Cole sounds like Holden Caulfield writing a sex blog. Amusing yet genuine, lustful yet sensitive, [All the Dirty Parts] approaches teenage horniness seriously and, in the process, touches on important subjects such as sexism, consent, and sexual identity."Booklist

"Take one sex-crazed teenage boy and take him seriously. Don't make him the butt of an easy joke. Don't make him the star of a humiliation comedy. Let him be an idiot, a jerk, a cad, a hero. Make his desire into a rocket shooting him out of this too small life. Show his loneliness crash-landing him into pieces. It's almost impossible to write tenderly and truthfully about such things. Somehow Handler has done it." —Jenny Offill, author of Deptartment of Speculation

"Sex, desire, love, consent, coercion, sexual identity, porn--Daniel Handler takes it all on in ALL THE DIRTY PARTS. Teenage Cole is simultaneously lovable and troubling, but mostly he is real, and his story not only compelling but a fantastic jumping off point for discussing ethical sexual behavior."—Peggy Orenstein, author of Girls & Sex

EVENT DETAILS: This free event will take place at Bookshop Santa Cruz. Open seating. Seats are generally set up one hour prior to the event's start time.

All the Dirty Parts Cover Image
$22.00
ISBN: 9781632868046
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Bloomsbury UK - August 29th, 2017

 

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