Downtown Durham Inc

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A Part of the Heart Can’t Be Eaten

September 19, 2023 @ 6:30 pm - 7:30 pm


We’re hosting Tristan Taormino who’ll be reading from her new memoir, A Part of the Heart Can’t Be Eaten (Duke University Press).

Copies of A Part of the Heart Can’t Be Eaten will be available for purchase during the event. You can also preorder your copy.

Note: this event will take place on our second floor, which is up a flight of stairs.

About the book:

In A Part of the Heart Can’t Be Eaten, award-winning author, sex educator, filmmaker, and podcast host Tristan Taormino shares her coming-of-age story, revealing how her radical sexuality and unconventional career grew out of an extraordinary queer father-daughter relationship. Raised by a hard-working single mother on Long Island, Tristan got her sex ed from the 1980s TV show Solid Gold and The Joy of Sex. She spent summers at drag shows in Provincetown with her father, Bill, who had come out as gay in the mid-1970s. Her sexual identity bloomed during her college years at Wesleyan University, where she discovered her desire for butches and kinky sex.

Tristan’s world began to fall apart when her dad was diagnosed with AIDS. After a series of devastating events, she moved to the messy, glorious world of 1990s New York City. In the midst of grief and depression, she helped change queer sexual subculture with her zine Pucker Up, her infamous The Village Voice column, and her editorship of legendary lesbian porn magazine On Our Backs. After the publication of her first book, The Ultimate Guide to Anal Sex for Women, Tristan followed her own path that marked the beginning of her work as a trailblazing feminist pornographer.

After a lifetime of outrageous adventures, Tristan reflects on the bonds, loss, and mental-health struggles that shaped her. She weaves together history from her father’s unpublished memoir, exploring the surprising ways their personal patterns converge and diverge. Bracingly emotional and erotically charged, A Part of the Heart Can’t Be Eaten reveals the transformative power of queer pleasure and defiance.

About the author:

Tristan Taormino is a writer, speaker, sex educator, and host of the podcast Sex Out Loud. A former syndicated columnist for The Village Voice, she is the author of numerous books, including her new memoir A Part of the Heart Can’t Be Eaten (Duke University Press) and Opening Up: A Guide to Creating and Sustaining Open Relationships. She is the founding editor of the annual Best Lesbian Erotica anthologies, editor of The Ultimate Guide to Kink: BDSM, Role Play, and the Erotic Edge, and coeditor of The Feminist Porn Book: The Politics of Producing Pleasure. She lives in Los Angeles.


September 19, 2023
6:30 pm - 7:30 pm
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Letters Bookshop
116 W Main St,
Durham, NC 27701 United States
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