April 11, 2011

What They Are Reading: Anastasia Jones

Book recommendations from experts in the fields of sexuality, gender, health, science and relationships.

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Sex researcher Anastasia Jones recommends A Fragile Union: New and Selected Writings (1998), by Joan Nestle:

A Fragile Union combines political essay and memoir; that sounds unwieldy, but Nestle—passionate, exacting, fierce—makes it work. The resulting collection is a movingly cohesive love letter: to queer activists, to past and present lovers, and to lesbianism itself. Her reader is carried along, catching a peek at butch women in 1920s Harlem before being pulled into the sex wars of second-wave feminism and on to the heyday of the new queer agenda. Nestle is wise enough to admit to the sorrow of loss and disappointment; but she is also brave enough to hope. Her courage makes this an important book, one to be read by every person with a curiosity for the queer past and an hour or two on their hands.”

Anastasia Jones is a 2011 John Money Fellow. She is pursuing a Ph.D. at Yale University in History, and is currently at the Kinsey Institute researching her dissertation, “The Normal Lesbians: Sexual Desire between Women and the Growth of Modern Sexual Categories in U.S. Culture, 1920-1940.”