Ever wondered why there’s no female voice as bold, erotic, unflinching, and revealing as Norman Mailer, Henry Miller, or Philip Roth? There is. It belongs to Susie Bright.
Big Sex Little Death: A Memoir by Susie Bright
In this stunning and courageous coming-of-age story, Susie Bright opens her heart and her life. From fearful Irish Catholic Girl Scout to gun-toting teenage revolutionary—and finally the “The Avatar of American Erotica” (NYTimes)—Bright’s life story is shaped as much by America’s sexual awakening as the national sexual landscape was altered by Bright herself.
Library Journal review March 1, 2011:
Writing in explicit sexual detail that makes the Diaries of her feminist icon predecessor Anaïs Nin seem tame, Bright (Mommy’s Little Girl: On Sex, Motherhood, Porn, and Cherry Pie) relates her life from childhood to the present. Sexually active from her early teens, Bright went on to champion the cause of female sexuality, breaking through social taboos, especially those concerning lesbianism. A founding member of the lesbian periodical On Our Backs, Bright produced writing and photography that reached a demographic largely ignored by the mainstream media. During her teenage years, she was active in socialist causes, traveling the United States and joining regional International Socialist groups bent on achieving extreme-liberal agendas. A supporter of the rights of those marginalized bysociety, the author makes clear that her purpose in life is to loosen society’s restrictions in order to allow freedom of expression for all.
VERDICT Not for the prudish or faint of heart, Bright’s memoir would interest readers intent on learning about contemporary female sexual history from one of its most influential figures.—Lisa Guidarini, Algonquin Area P.L. Dist., IL
“Susie Bright is a one-woman counterculture, a teenaged socialist revolutionary turned Reagan-era sexual freedom fighter. In this lively, bittersweet memoir, she recounts a life full of political and erotic adventures and betrayals, a life at once deeply subversive and totally American, defined as it is by the idea that people should be free to express and pursue their own visions of happiness, no matter how uncomfortable it makes the prigs and scolds among us.”
—Tom Perotta, author of Little Children and Election
“Susie Bright’s real life is just as compelling—more compelling—than her sex life. And that’s saying something.”