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

By Jane Vandenburgh

Jane Vandenburgh's existence started ordinarily sufficient. Born into "a sure type 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 popular la company, was once arrested numerous occasions for being in homosexual bars through the Fifties. He used to be despatched to a health facility to be "cured" of his homosexuality; he dedicated suicide while she was once 9. Her mom was once a Bohemian who believed that she was once glamorous and gifted and will write her personal ideas for how she lived her lifestyles. confident that she used to be being persecuted for being "unconventional," she misplaced her brain and used to be despatched to a psychological health facility. Vandenburgh and her brothers have been raised by means of family in an prosperous suburb within the San Fernando Valley, a spot the place medicinal drugs, intercourse, and generalized performing out have been the waves of social swap that have been simply hitting the shorelines the place they spent each weekend. Quirky and incredible, A Pocket heritage of intercourse within the 20th Century is an engaging mix of memoir and cultural revelation.

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When we drive down Wilshire to take our dad to work, he shudders as we pass beneath the shadows of the new glass-faced office buildings—it’s his half-fake shudder, at once real and not real. These are skyscrapers walled with mirrors that mirror nothing. “I will work there until I die,” he said one day, which he then very literally did. But now he’s away, so our mother dresses up. She’s taking us to dinner at a fish place on the Rainbow Pier. This pier is where my brothers and I hang out on weekends, on school days too.

Life has a way of beating sentiment right out of you, our mother says, what with . . As we listen to the scratchy record playing back this part of the song, we can also hear the other three of us in the background, laughing softly at Geo’s innocence. The record is part of a gift we’re accumulating for our father, for our mother to take to him for us. So far we have a bag of saltwater taffy, the photo strip, the scary purple dog–ish thing, and now this record that we’ve just made for him. We’ll send this package off to him in the desert, then wait for him to come back to us.

She’d be turbaned, wearing stylish sunglasses, covered from neck to toe in some smart wrap made of turquoise terry cloth. He is a better cook than our mother is, but she is a better painter. She recently painted our mailbox in oils, in an abstract expressionist design unappreciated by the neighbors. There are gem cubes that resemble blobs of Jell-O, a huge anti-Disney eye or two, curves and squiggles, black-bordered areas of oceanic blues and greens. The block letters, each stranger and more cubist than the last, spell out The Vandenburghs, which you can read only if you already know what it says.

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