In the fall of 1999, retired high school English teacher and Berkeley resident Jane Juska placed the following ad in the New York Review of Books: "Before I turn 67 -- next March -- I would like to have a lot of sex with a man I like. If you want to talk first, Trollope works for me." This surprising and charming memoir describes both what happened next and the context of her entire life: an early marriage and divorce, her devotion to her work, her assumption for a long time that sex was over for her. Although her amorous adventures, good and bad, are the hook, what I really remember from this unique book is the chapter about teaching English reading and writing in prison (San Quentin!), and her fight to gain entry to the exclusive Berg Collection -- the holy of holies collection of Anthony Trollope manuscripts and memorabilia in New York City. This is a delightful book . . . for the open-minded reader.
This report prepared by David Loftus
Jane Juska is a sixty-six year old retired teacher who decides she has not had enough sex and so places an ad in the "New York Review of Books" stating that by time she turns sixty-seven she would like to have a lot of sex with a man. The book then chronicles her adventures and misadventures as a rotund and not especially attractive woman who has several interesting sexual dalliances with men ranging in age from thirty-three to eighty-two. The book is well-written and at times grandiloquent. The prurient scenes are strong but Juska often interpolates chapters from her "real" life, including teaching at San Quentin Prison; these "real life" episodes seem extraneous and interrupt the flow of the narrative. Juska received, I believe, sixty-seven replies, thus showing how easy it is in America for even an unattractive albeit interesting and intelligent woman to get laid.
This report prepared by Randy Williams