A Pocket History of Sex in the Twentieth Century: A Memoir by Jane Vandenburgh

By Jane Vandenburgh

Jane Vandenburgh's lifestyles begun more often than not adequate. Born into "a definite form of family"—affluent, white, Protestant—she got here of age in the course of a time while the sexual revolution was once sweeping our cultural panorama. Her father, an architect with a fashionable l. a. company, used to be arrested a number of instances for being in homosexual bars throughout the Nineteen Fifties. He used to be despatched to a sanatorium to be "cured" of his homosexuality; he devoted suicide while she was once 9. Her mom was once a Bohemian who believed that she used to be glamorous and proficient and will write her personal ideas for a way she lived her existence. confident that she used to be being persecuted for being "unconventional," she misplaced her brain and used to be despatched to a psychological clinic. Vandenburgh and her brothers have been raised via family in an prosperous suburb within the San Fernando Valley, a spot the place medicinal drugs, intercourse, and generalized appearing out have been the waves of social switch that have been simply hitting the seashores the place they spent each weekend. Quirky and extraordinary, A Pocket heritage of intercourse within the 20th Century is an interesting combination of memoir and cultural revelation.

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We three were also Other. If we were filling out a form, she instructed us, we were to write down Other when we were asked to say what we were. Our father was better at math than she was, but she is the better writer. But she understands the arithmetic of the conspiracy—the French professor had explained it to her because he’d been in love with 40 The Salisbury Court Reporter her. And he wasn’t the only one, she reminds us. Seven men asked her to marry them, though her underwear was dirty. Do we understand her?

If we were filling out a form, she instructed us, we were to write down Other when we were asked to say what we were. Our father was better at math than she was, but she is the better writer. But she understands the arithmetic of the conspiracy—the French professor had explained it to her because he’d been in love with 40 The Salisbury Court Reporter her. And he wasn’t the only one, she reminds us. Seven men asked her to marry them, though her underwear was dirty. Do we understand her? she asks.

Loss is a sad, sad little man. Still, she will sometimes ask him in for a breakfast beer. She’ll be painting in oils, using one of our dad’s white dress shirts as a smock, sleeves rolled up, turned around and buttoned backward. Her hair is curly, light brown streaked with gold. She doesn’t go to the beauty shop to get it done, like the other mothers do. Instead, she wears it any way she wants to, long and down in defiance of the fashion or piled up on top of her head, kept there with pencils, paintbrushes, chopsticks, whatever’s around for her to stick in it.

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