Poetry is the medium via which Clifton confers this reckoning with the at once brutal and inspiring legacy of North American, African descendant slaves. Praised for her subversive use of biblical and mythological character tropes, she dissects the various ways the chattel system allowed for its chief commodity (people) to be seen.
Widely considered for a cross section of Americans spanning multiple generations the "People's Poet Laureate", Angelou's "And Still I Rise" declare's a brazen resilience, located not only within herself, but within any and all women bold enough to summon it.
Carter's gothic yarns—often riffing on classic fairytales—realize richly supernatural worlds, protagonists, and scenarios, paving the way for storytellers like Audrey Niffenegger, William Goldman, and JK Rowling.
Baldwin cements his literary influence via this tale of clandestine romance amid a Paris in the thrusts of creative and cultural upheaval. As a result of phrasings textured to engaged the reader's full range of senses, the story's painted pictures realize characters almost realer than life itself.
A sexuality explorative of the "sinister side" is cataloged in Bataille's seminal work of literature. The lines between mortality and sensuality are both disturbingly and stimulatingly blurred.
Lifetimes before matching a "right swipe" provided listless men with the opportunity for casual coitus, Los Angeles' brothels and bordellos thrived amid a Hollywood that was yet to fully form. Our site's own Madame, Liz Goldwyn constructs a fiction (based largely on actual events encountered within her extensive research) of flop houses, feathered lamps, and fast cash for love. This was how the West was done.
Pinkola Estes catalogs lupine female figures in mythology, folklore, and fairytales who aren't content to just sit around and howl at the moon. A global assortment of iconoclastic protagonists break the narrative, gendered mold, inspiring readers to live boldly on their own terms.
Judy Chicago's illustrations—as witty and vibrant as they are visually sensual—accompany her mentor Anais Nin's famed erotic poems. Sometimes pens (pencils, and watercolor brushes) are indeed mightier than swords ;)
Temperatures rise and complexions grow flushed within these bawdy, Victorian tales of the erotic. Potentially hyperbolic flourishes hint at tinges of satire, but only for the purpose of spicing pleasure with giggles.
These letters between lovers chronicle the arc of a deviant brand of desire, as it manifests within coitus-correspondence. Von Sacher-Masoch's penchant for a femme-dom in fur-trimmed frocks, adds delightful sartorial flair.
When sex is not only political but also professional in nature, virtually nothing remains off limits. This snapshot of a male sex worker's days and nights spent on LA's gritty, 1970's streets leaves little to the imagination and few questions unasked (even if some remain unanswered).
Three tales of isolation frame legendary storyteller Kawabata's narrative exploration of sex as it effects the human condition. Though Japanese in their cultural contextualization, these glimpses into the expanses of sensuality prove universal in their unearthing of desire's hidden complexities.