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0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Jillian Keenan Narrator: Jillian Keena Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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A provocative, deeply moving, and often absurdly funny memoir about how a young woman came to understand love and sexuality through the work of Shakespeare.

Jillian Keenan’s childhood was shaped by broken relationships and the manufactured romance of movies and television shows. When it came to understanding love, she had nothing to guide her—until she read A Midsummer Night’s Dream in high school, and felt Shakespeare’s language pulsating in her blood for the first time. In Sex with Shakespeare, she tells the story of how the Bard’s plays eventually helped her fathom human relationships and her own sexuality—and find a happy ending of her own.

On the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, her passionate, erudite memoir offers a fresh, unusual take on this cultural icon and his work. Keenan uses fourteen of his plays as a springboard to explore the many facets of love and sex—from desire and connection to fetish and addiction. In A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Keenan unmasks Helena as a sexual masochist—like Jillian herself. In Macbeth, she examines criminalized sexualities and the dark side of “privacy.” The Taming of the Shrew goes inside the secret world of BDSM, and King Lear exposes the ill-fated king as a possible sexual predator. Moving through the canon, it becomes abundantly clear that literature is a conversation, and in Sex with Shakespeare, words are love.

Keenan charts her life—and her romances—through the plays, as she wanders the world in search of herself, from northern California to Oman, Spain to Singapore, Washington, DC to Somalia. From Muslim dictatorships to Buddhist republics to disputed territories, she demonstrates Shakespeare’s universality—an entry point to discuss fraught topics such as love, romance, and our most private and public selves.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Calling this book brave is an understatement. We often talk about other people’s kinks, but rarely does someone open up about their own kinks—and really own their kinks—as fearlessly as Jillian Keenan does in her moving and funny memoir. This book will help people, and this book will entertain people. And Keenan’s original takes on Shakespeare are just as fascinating and insightful as her takes on sex, lust, and love. Fans (kinky or not) of Shakespeare will love reading this book, and anyone directing Shakespeare should be required to read it.”

    Dan Savage, New York Times bestselling author

  • “An English major’s dream…You may have studied Shakespeare in high school, but it’s almost guaranteed that your literary analysis wasn’t anything like this…The connection to Shakespeare is a fascinating foil for Keenan’s life…[Her] writing is clear, relatable, and steady, even when conveying painful events in her past.”

    Library Journal (starred review)

  • “Keenan serves up a smart, sexy cocktail of a memoir that is one part spanking fetish, another part Shakespeare, and goes down like a dirty martini that leaves the reader both shaken and stirred.”

    Ian Kerner, PhD, author of She Comes First

  • A Library Journal Editor’s Pick for Best Memoirs of the First Half of 2016 
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