Porn: An Oral History
by Polly Barton
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Pub Date 16 Mar 2023 | Archive Date Not set
How do we talk about porn? Why it is that when we do talk about porn, we tend to retreat into the abstract? How do we have meaningful conversations about it with those closest to us? In Porn: An Oral History, her extraordinary second book, Polly Barton interrogates the absence of discussion around a topic that is ubiquitous and influences our daily lives. In her search for understanding, she spent a year initiating intimate conversations with twenty acquaintances of a range of ages, genders and sexualities about everything and anything related to porn: watching habits, emotions and feelings of guilt, embarrassment, disgust and shame, fantasy and desire. Soon, unfolding before her, was exactly the book that she had been longing to encounter – not a traditional history, but the raw, honest truth about what we aren’t saying. A landmark work of oral history written in the spirit of Nell Dunn, Porn is a thrilling, thought-provoking, revelatory, revealing, joyfully informative and informal exploration of a subject that has always retained an element of the taboo.
For readers of Lisa Taddeo, Katherine Angel and Amia Srinivasan.
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 7 members
In this book, Polly Barton skilfully has difficult and awkward questions around porn with friends and acquaintances in a way that is refreshing, candid, and never judgemental.
She is an astute interviewer- these feel like genuine conversations, and she is able to challenge, prod and develop answers throughout, carefully avoiding the difficulty faced by many books like this, where often answers can feel repetitive by the end. Instead, it feels as if Barton's own understanding is developing throughout the book, with later interviews feeling like she is able to further a previous conversation.
I received an advanced copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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