A Round-Heeled Woman: My Late-Life Adventures in Sex and Romance
“Round-heeled” is an old-fashioned label for a woman who is promiscuous—someone who nowadays might be called “easy.” It’s a surprising way for a cultured English teacher with a passion for the novels of Anthony Trollope to describe herself, but then that’s just the first of many surprises to be found in this poignant, funny, utterly unique memoir. Jane Juska is a smart, energetic divorcée who decided she’d been celibate too long, and placed the following personal ad in her favorite newspaper, 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 closing reference was a nod to her favorite author, of course. The response was overwhelming, and Juska took a sabbatical from teaching to meet some of the men who had replied. And since her ad made it clear that she wasn’t expecting just hand-holding, her dates zipped from first base to home plate in record time.
Juska is a totally engaging, perceptive writer, funny and frank about her exploits. It’s high time someone revealed the fact that older single people are as eager for sex and intimacy as their younger counterparts. Jane Juska’s brave, honest memoir will probably raise eyebrows and blood pressure, but it will undoubtedly appeal to the very large audience of grown-up readers who will be fascinated and inspired by her daring adventure.
From the Hardcover edition.
A Timeless Quest
By R. Hardy "Rob Hardy" - June 9, 2003
For decades, the personals section of _The New York Review of Books_ has been a cheerful island of sexuality within an august intellectual setting. Those of us who browse it out of curiosity rather than sincere shopping can't help but wonder how these attempts at finding love turn out. Will the beautiful, brainy SJF, earthmother, find her sweet, brilliant, companionable sexy beast? Will the adventurous, intellectual, DWM, 47, periodontist, photographer, musician, cat-lover find his full-figured woman for passionate sex and scintillating discussions? (I am citing real ads from a recent issue.) Thanks to Jane Juska, we know, quite thoroughly, how one of those ads played out. Juska was watching an Eric Roehmer film in Berkeley, carefully munching her malted milk balls, when she started writing her ad. Carefully budgeting the $4.55-per-word prose, she eventually submitted, "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... read more
5 stars for the writing; 5 stars for bravery; 5 for content
By Peggy Vincent "author and reader" - May 14, 2003
Long awaited book since the first reviews and all the hype appeared. Thank goodness she lives in Berkeley, 2 minutes from me, as that means I'll be able to attend a book reading somewhere nearby. The lady's got guts, chutzpah, joie de vivre, etc - - - but most of all, boy, can she write! The narrative arc of A Round-Heeled Woman is framed on Juska's desire for a truly fulfilling sexual relationship for, one may assume, the first time in her life. After decades as a teacher and a single mom, looking old age eyeball-to-eyeball, she leaps into the bizarre world of Personals Ads and comes up a winner. Deeper, however, than the sexual narrative, is the story of her blossoming as a fully-actualized woman. What's not to love about this book? I didn't find anything.
Reading Jane Juska is like talking to a good friend
By Beachreader42 "beachreader42" - May 10, 2003
Jane Juska's new book, A Round Heeled Woman, is not just a tale of the results of her advertisement for a sexual relationship with "a man I like". She meets some wonderful and some not so wonderful men, and the reader suffers through the disappointments and rejections and cheers the successes. (And there are several.) Yet it is her narrative of teaching in High School and at San Quentin that is so poignant and shows as much about who she is as does the ad which depicts her as a daring woman who is looking for a connection at long last, a woman who "wants to be touched" . One hopes that she writes another book, and quickly, about her teaching years, all forty of them, and in particular more about her prison students. This book is true and real and very funny and I couldn't put it down. I for one would love to meet this remarkable woman.
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