LITERATURE

Sex with Shakespeare: Here's Much To Do with Pain, but More with Love

Morrow. Apr. 2016. 352p. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780062378712. $25.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062378736. MEMOIR
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OrangeReviewStarYou may have studied Shakespeare in high school, but it's almost guaranteed that your literary analysis wasn't anything like this! Interspersed with revelatory passages of close literary reading and exposition on Shakespeare's work are revealing passages of a different nature—the author's own story as she comes to terms with her sexual identity. The connection to Shakespeare is a fascinating foil for Keenan's life but also digestible literary analysis—an English major's dream! Her writing is clear, relatable, and steady, even when conveying painful events in her past. Diagnosed with MS as a teenager, Keenan only touches on her disease briefly; the childhood sexual abuse that she experienced is handled in the same manner. Instead, Keenan focuses on the meaning of Shakespeare in her own life and the Bard's role in her personal self-discovery.
VERDICT A thoroughly enjoyable read, not just for the juicy bits of Shakespeare, but also for the sex-positive message. Recommended for readers who are interested in a different reading of Shakespeare, as well as anyone working through issues of sexuality and identity.

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