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The Waterstones Podcast - Sex

Posted on 13th August 2019 by Mark Skinner
Your chance to hear authors going beyond the book to talk about the themes and ideas that obsess us all.

Sex

Hannah Witton, joins Will and Holly in the studio to talk about Sex. As a sex-positive vlogger on YouTube, author of Doing It and The Hormone Diaries, plus a podcaster in her own right, Hannah is the perfect guest to discuss why we’re so silly about sex writing in the UK and what makes for great sex on the page and between the sheets. They also listen to broadcaster and author, Caitlin Moran and Women’s Prize-winner A.M. Homes talking about writing sex in their fiction, as well as Candice Carty-Williams, who shares some of the personal experiences that feed into her bestselling debut, Queenie.

Featured in this week's podcast:

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Presented with wit, candour and not a whiff of condescension, vlogger Hannah Witton’s book is what all teenagers should read to navigate the emotional and physical maze of love and lust. Everything you always wanted to know about sex and a fair bit you never knew you needed to, Doing It is a vital, hip and entertaining resource.
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Refreshingly candid and accessible, Hannah Witton’s follow-up to Doing It takes a similarly no-nonsense approach to periods as that ground-breaking work did to sex. Refusing to be cowed by priggish taboo, Witton is an engaging and reassuring guide to what can be a difficult and confusing event.
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A rip-roaring blast through the hedonistic lunacy of the Britpop years and a spiky feminist bildungsroman, How to be Famous is both Moran’s love letter to, and diatribe against, the vibrant music scene of the nineties.
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A wild, delirious ride through the dark heart of the American nuclear family, Music for Torching is Homes’ blistering dissection of unsatisfied, bored suburbia writ large. Casting the minutiae of domestic life in the most surreal variations, this is a sly piece of scalpel-sharp satire from a superb prose stylist.
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Caught between the Jamaican British family who don’t seem to understand her, a job that’s not all it promised and a man she just can’t get over, Queenie Jenkins’ life seems to be steadily spiralling out of control in Candice Carty-Williams luminous debut. By turns hilariously funny, dramatic and tender, with a heroine to root for, Queenie is undoubtedly one of the year’s most exciting debuts.
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Powerful, indignant and passionately argued, Pimp State is Kat Banyard’s call to arms against the encroaching normalisation of the sex trade and the myths surrounding the legalisation of prostitution. Persuasive and informed, Banyard is a formidable polemicist and this book is the last word on the topic.
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Pushing the envelope for sexual content in Young Adult fiction, Jack of Hearts (and Other Parts) is an unabashedly graphic look at queer love and lifestyles in the twenty-first century. Outrageous, honest and hilariously filthy, Rosen’s book simply cannot be ignored.
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A fictionalised account of the transgender jazz artist Billy Tipton, Kay’s scintillating prose debut is both a fascinating window onto a bygone age and a tender examination of a woman forced to take the secret of her sexuality to the grave. Written with a poet’s sense of rhythm and structure, Trumpet is a masterly piece of work.
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A tender and humane dissection of what happens to a relationship when unforeseen events conspire to sabotage it. Tayari Jones’ handling of her protagonists’ emotions is a masterclass in authentic characterisation whilst the story subtly probes issues of race and justice with a piercing emotional intelligence and colossal heart.
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The master of the modern fable spins a beguiling tale centred on the nature of love and sex. Caught between the emotional emptiness of her profession as a prostitute and the opportunity for a purer, ‘sacred’ form of sex, Maria must choose her path with care.
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A uniquely fascinating history of London Piccadilly’s rent boy scene and the numerous artistic icons who have either partaken of rough trade or been inspired by the culture and customs of its distinctive milieu. Oscar Wilde, Francis Bacon, Marc Almond and Morrissey all feature in this authoritatively written book about a hidden side of the capital.
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A riveting exploration of female sexuality and desire, and the often yawning chasms between enticing fantasy and cruel reality, Three Women is suffused both with erotic yearning and raw honesty, and serves as a vital document of twenty-first century sexual politics.
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