Donna George Storeys Amorous Woman is about American woman who becomes enamored of Japan and begins a quest to immerse herself in it. Master translators like Burton Watson convey the energy and expanse of compact Eastern poetry with an authenticity that can engage a western imagination while keeping true to the original works. Donna George Storeys Amorous Woman likewise translates the experience of an American womans voyage through Japanese society in the same manner.
The cover of the erotic novel Amorous Woman has a seductive-looking Japanese woman tempting you to come hither and read the story that is clearly for "adults only" (as the cover warns). The prologue has the title character, Lydia, looking at her reflection in an airport mirror and swearing off sex in any form as she departs Japan for the United States, her homeland. Lydia isn't Japaneseshe's a blonde Americanbut the reflection she sees (or imagines she sees) could very well be the Japanese woman from the book's cover. Lydia is in love with Japan, and her move there was an attempt not just to become Japanese, but to become part of Japan itself. The book begins with Lydia back in the States, telling her story to two young men who are her students (now she's teaching Japanese to Americans set to work in Japan). Author Donna George Storey holds a Ph.D. in Japanese literature from Stanford, and like her character Lydia, spent time in Japan teaching English.
Storey draws a colorful tale that is rich in detail and makes me yearn to head off to Japan RIGHT NOW.
In the case of Lydia, Ms. Storey's heroine, there is a physical voyage as well, to the fascinating and frustrating culture of contemporary Japan. Lydia flies to Kyoto eager to taste all the cultural and sensual delicacies that Japan has to offer. Ms. Storey takes us back to meet Lydia in her teens, when she first discovers the power of her sexual imagination. ====================== Lydia brings this openness to experience, this willingness to take risks, with her to Japan, where it carries her into adventures and even dangers. The honest answer was that I came because I craved adventure, a life of surprises, a non-stop feast of exotic sensual pleasure, anything but a job in investment banking like most of my college friends. I have to move my body in a different way, so maybe I can understand, just a little, what it's like to be Japanese. "To transform constriction into art." "Lydia-san understands Japan very well," Dr. Shinohara said to his friend. As she delves deeper into Japanese culture as well as her own sexual complexities, she feels more rather than less alien. ============================================= As someone who has made her own voyages of discovery into strange cultures, I strongly identified with Lydia and her lust for new experience, as well as her desire to be a part of the wonders around her. However, Ms. Storey understands more than just foreign cultures. Ms. Storey manages to show us Lydia's doubts, fears and confusion while still keeping the sexual temperature turned up to the maximum. It is a believable and moving tale of one woman's journey of sexual self-discovery.
Amorous Woman is structured around a series of stories Lydia tells to two young American men upon her return to the United States. Through each erotic encounter, we gain fascinating, intimate insights into Lydia's love affair with the country and with Japanese culture. This feels to me what the novel is ultimately about: the fascination, admiration, and ultimately love of a foreigner for a country notoriously hard for outsiders to gain access to.
Amorous Woman is the story of a young American immersing herself into the culture and society of Japan. She gives us a peek at parts of the Japanese society that we do not normally see or read about.
In fact, to cover all bases, I would never have sex again with anyone, man or woman, for the rest of my life.
I loved that the story and our narrator took you straight to Japan as if you were there with her, watching from the corner of the room.
Amorous Woman's erotic emphasis is remarkable in its dual effectiveness of being both erotically scintillating and deeply explorative and illuminative of the story's characters.
The cover of AMOUROUS WOMAN promises a sexy read.
She holds a Ph.D. in Japanese literature from Stanford and has published over sixty literary and/or erotic stories and essays in Prairie Schooner, Gettysburg Review, Fourth Genre, Wine Spectator, Best American Erotica, Mammoth Book of Best New Erotica, Best Womens Erotica, Ageless Erotica and elsewhere.