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The Sexual Life of Catherine M.
Cover of The Sexual Life of Catherine M.
The Sexual Life of Catherine M.

A window into a life of insatiable desire and uninhibited sex - this is Parisian art critic Catherine M.'s account of her sexual awakening and her unrestrained pursuit of pleasure.

From the glamorous singles clubs of Paris to the Bois de Boulogne, she describes her erotic experiences in precise and beautiful detail. A phenomenal bestseller throughout Europe, The Sexual Life of Catherine M., like Fifty Shades of Grey, breaks with accepted ideas of sex and examines many alternative manifestations of desire. Told in spare, elegant prose, her story will shock, enlighten and liberate you.

A window into a life of insatiable desire and uninhibited sex - this is Parisian art critic Catherine M.'s account of her sexual awakening and her unrestrained pursuit of pleasure.

From the glamorous singles clubs of Paris to the Bois de Boulogne, she describes her erotic experiences in precise and beautiful detail. A phenomenal bestseller throughout Europe, The Sexual Life of Catherine M., like Fifty Shades of Grey, breaks with accepted ideas of sex and examines many alternative manifestations of desire. Told in spare, elegant prose, her story will shock, enlighten and liberate you.

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About the Author-
  • Catherine Millet is the editor of Art Press, an influential Paris art magazine. She has written books on moden art, including a monograph on the painter Yves Klein.

Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    April 8, 2002
    Millet, art critic and editor of Art Press, has become a literary sensation in France with the publication of this graphic memoir of some 30 years of her sexual adventures. Millet's "gift for observation" and her "solid superego" are as useful in her career as an art critic as they are in her erotic explorations: her ability to concentrate and observe puts her inside "other people's skins." Comparisons have been made to The Story Of O, but Millet is more in the tradition of Jean Genet and Violette Leduc, whose descriptions of their sexual encounters were not meant to titillate so much as to explore the meaning of the erotic. Millet's "quest for the sexual grail" takes her to group orgies, gang bangs in French parks and other serial sex escapades. Before long, the sex begins to seem utterly routine, in spite of the elaborate staging. Millet—and her readers—are then free to consider more closely some questions she raises: how oral sex compares to vaginal intercourse; why sex in disgusting circumstances is not about "self-abasement," but raising oneself "above all prejudice"; or why solitary sex is more pleasurable for her than sex with a partner. Toward the end of this curiously graceful memoir, Millet comes close to explaining her need for all this sex: only by sloughing off the "mechanical body" she'd been born with could she experience actual sexual pleasure. While women readers will find much of interest, male readers may have to overcome a certain emperor's new clothes–type discomfort, as they realize that Millet may know more about the male body than they do. Agent, Georges Borchardt. (June)Forecast:Millet's book sold over 300,000 copies in France last year and was reviewed recently in American
    Vogue. It probably won't be as popular here, given American vs. French attitudes about sex, but it will attract those with a sexual sensibility and a certain je ne sais quoi.

  • Independent on Sunday

    Elegantly written and extraordinarily frank. Here is a book so rich in sexual revelation that it could feed five tabloids for a year and still have something left for Channel 5

  • James Harkin

    The author writes like a connoisseur who is perfectly at ease with her subject... A brilliant testimony of a life spent at the sexual front line

  • Edmund White

    This is the most explicit book about sex ever written by a woman, though it is far from pornographic. Catherine Millet sets about coolly and rationally exploring her insatiable appetites - and she has lived to tell the tale that is the opposite of lurid. It is a comprehensive and elegant performance

  • Lynne Truss

    I don't approve of The Sexual Life of Catherine M. But I am grateful she has written it

  • Independent on Sunday

    She proves again that Catholicism and filthy sex go together like salt beef and rye

  • Rowan Pelling

    Readers may find this book disturbing or repellent, but they are unlikely to find it dull. I thought that it was the most honest book I had ever read on the subject of sex

  • Deborah Levy

    Millet's achievement is that she curates or, more accurately, catalogues her sexual adventures with no sense of shame or remorse

  • Marcelle D'Argy Smith

    You are amazed at her honesty as you are by her exploits. Some of what she does and says mirror your own thoughts and fantasies

  • New Statesman

    It is Millet's subversive achievement to describe pleasure for its own sake

  • Daily Mirror

    This bestseller shocked Europe and looks set to become controversial here

  • Michael Fishwick

    Her descriptions are laced with a laconic frankness which veers between intelligent reflection and willed self-objectification

  • Lisa Hilton

    Millet diverts the tradition of erotic writing by French women such as Pauline Reage and Alina Reyes firmly into the realm of non-fiction, with this account of her sexual encounters, tastes and unconventional morality... Millet writes extremely well, describing her recollections vividly, and investing her physical largesse with a queenly magnanimity... Millet's sexual aesthetic is a literary one, invoking Sade, Reage and Proust... a work of libertine philosophy'

  • Kathryn Hughes

    Millet's implicit mission is to write about her own desire with absolute candour and a fierce refusal to consider her audience's needs or sensibilities

  • Dazed & Confused

    Explicit and honest

  • Katrina Dixon

    The unabashed erotica of The Sexual Life of Catherine M... salutes the Marquis de Sade in a straight-talking romp through dozens of one-night stands catalogued with savage wit by a Parisian intellecual

  • Good Book Guide

    She has recorded her numerous sexual encounters in disarming detail and an alluring style of cool detachment... They make for extraordinarily compulsive reading. Some may think her honesty gratuitous, others will identify with it and find it inspiring

  • Nick Hasted

    The investigation of one's woman sexuality is still, by its nature, unique

  • Simon Lovat

    For those unfamiliar with the female body, it's also illuminating!

  • Kirkus Reviews

    Graceful, thoughful, oddly charming, and profoundly pornographic. A bold, intelligent, pioneering tour de force

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