Sunday, June 22, 2008

The Dangerous Joy of Dr. Sex

Review - The Dangerous Joy of Dr. Sex and other true stories by Pagan Kennedy

What do Dr. Alex Comfort, author of The Joy of Sex, Amy Smith, director of the International Development Initiative at MIT, and Dr. Gordon Sato, former resident of the Manzanar interment camp in California, all have in common? They, along with the other 9 people profiled in this book, are modern-day pioneers, attempting in their own unique ways to "reinvent this country (and others) as a kinder, sexier, smarter, funnier, or more compassionate place." And as the subjects of Pagan Kennedy's essays, they are all fascinating.

Pagan Kennedy is the writer we all want to write our biography. She has an incredible way of figuring out what makes each person interesting while still allowing that person to tell their own story. None of her subjects are perfect, but she is so obvious in her compassion for them that we can't help but feel it too. I would love to see several of the chapters expanded into books themselves, because Kennedy has infected me with the desire to know these people and their lives.

As an additional treat, the last 3 chapters are personal essays about her own life. Kennedy's writing truly shines in these stories, as she discusses alternative family arrangements, shares a vacation story, and allows us a glimpse of her own family and their quirks. Again, I was left wanting even more. It is always a treat to discover a new author who you can't wait to read again, and Pagan Kennedy certainly falls into that category for me.

Finished: 6/22/08
Source: Santa Fe Writer's Project
Rating: 8/10


Lenore said...

Glad you liked it too!

Bybee said...

I remember reading her book Platforms, about growing up in the 1970s and liking it very much.

Zibilee said...

I also really enjoyed this book. She really explored some noteworthy people.By the way, you have a really great blog!

Michele said...

Hmm, sounds good. I'm not usually into biographies but think I would enjoy this as each person's information is shorter. Thanks for the recommendation!