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Witt’s chapter about going to Burning Man (and having sex with a like-minded bookish dude she met at the Black Rock City library) was published in the London Review of Books, her father was upset, she said. Witt, he said, “is really writing for us, for a lot of my friends who, it’s not just that their lives haven’t taken a conventional path — their lives may have taken a conventional path — but they want to choose their sexual lives, they don’t want to have them assigned, they don’t want to be told, ‘Well, at the end of the day, when we’re all grown up, we know what we’re supposed to do.’”At the same time, Mr.There wasn’t “so much a conversation, just my brother saying: ‘Dad didn’t like your article,” Ms. But after that: “I wasn’t scared anymore.”“It would be strange to me if young, intellectual women writers weren’t interested in intimacy, in the problems posed by sexual relations,” said Lorin Stein, who edited Ms. Stein noted, ours does not seem like a moment of wild reinvention. Bell an email to answer that question, recalling a moment from her 20s when she was dating an older man, who told her that he was still hung up on his ex and may ultimately choose neither of them. Weigel turned to him and asked, “What should I want?The result is her book, “Future Sex,” to be published Oct. Along the way, when she would talk about what she was working on, “certain editors — male editors — have commented on my ‘memoir,’” said Ms. “An editor said to me, ‘It seems like every woman has to write about this at some point.’ Um, yeah, because it’s one of the most important things about being alive right now?”It requires only a glimpse at bookstore windows to notice the phalanx of young authors challenging the idea that dating and sex aren’t serious enough topics for certain kinds of writers to engage with.Witt’s book, published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. Weigel, 31, offers a different angle on love — and a different sensibility. Weigel was compelled to delve into the moment it all began. Particularly potentially titillating subjects,” Ms. Weigel later wrote in an email.“It’s this weird double bind, isn’t it: On the one hand, it’s as if editors and readers don’t trust young women to know about anything other than their own lives.And then on the other hand we are often asked — structural sexism asks us — to speak for all women, any time we write.
But she, like so many of her feminist icons, invokes that old mantra about the personal and the political.“As a culture, we’re only comfortable with women’s sexual stories being told from a male point of view,” Ms. “It’s not that we’re not comfortable with women’s sexuality — we see women’s sexuality plastered all over ads and movies and television shows.
carries with it a persistent whiff of strangeness, deviance and failure” — moved to New York City for a man and then he left her, sending her spiraling into the kind of year that can, if you are Ms. Instead, she takes long, introspective walks through the city where she is loveless and occasionally so unmoored that she can barely bring herself to order coffee, too vulnerable to cope with her barista’s continuing inability to decode her English accent.
When pressed about her ambivalence toward revealing her private life in writing, Ms.
These writers have been greeted with a great deal of attention, yet there remains the anxious sense that to write about such topics is to risk forfeiting gravitas. Witt’s book is among the most personal of the bunch, offering up her perceptions of (and adventures in) the worlds of internet dating, internet pornography, orgasmic meditation and the kink industry. Witt’s book is her willingness to confess her unhappiness.“You can tell yourself different stories about why things are happening,” Ms. “I knew the story that I was telling myself — that I would eventually meet someone and get married — felt really false.
And also, it just wasn’t happening.”And so, she headed to the West Coast to try to figure out some other way to be content, if it turns out that the romantic-comedy concept of love, with its perfect, permanent, tea-for-two ending, was not to be hers.“Part of why I wanted to write the book was that everything I read told me that my life was a question of luck and chance, and if it didn’t work out, if I didn’t meet somebody,” she said.
Instead, this new crop of nonfiction seeks to blend personal writing with social analysis, to fashion some kind of philosophy about how we live, and love, now.