Start reading Sex and Death in the American Novel on the free Kindle Reading App or on your Kindle in under a minute. Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here.

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Enter a promotion code
or gift card

Try it free

Sample the beginning of this book for free

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Anybody can read Kindle books—even without a Kindle device—with the FREE Kindle app for smartphones, tablets and computers.
Sorry, this item is not available in
Image not available for
Image not available

Sex and Death in the American Novel [Kindle Edition]

Sarah Martinez
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $14.95
Kindle Price: $3.99
You Save: $10.96 (73%)

If you buy a new print edition of this book (or purchased one in the past), you can buy the Kindle Edition for FREE. Print edition purchase must be sold by Amazon. Learn more.


Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition $3.99  
Paperback $14.47  
Grey: Fifty Shades of Grey as Told by Christian
E.L. James returns with a fresh perspective from Christian Grey on the story that enthralled millions of readers. See Kindle version | More "Fifty Shades" titles

Book Description

Vivianna Post is the family anomaly. Daughter of a Pulitzer Prize winner and an academic, she has never quite fit her parents’ expectations as a free-spirited erotica writer.

When Vivianna encounters the award-winning author Jasper Caldwell at a nightclub, all she wants is to blame him for blowing off her brother at a writers’ conference the year before and possibly causing his suicide. But as the night—and then the weeks—wear on, Vivianna finds herself drawn to Jasper in ways she cannot understand.

When their differences—literary and sexual—threaten to pull Vivianna and Jasper apart, Jasper rediscovers Alejandro, an old friend who just might have the power to complete them both in every way.

Using quotes and references to classic erotic and literary icons, Sex and Death in the American Novel is on one level an unconventional romance and on another a discussion of the merits of erotic literature.

Editorial Reviews


Sarah Martinez dares to blow the top off of the conventional box of boy/girl, liberating us with sexy, sensual, intelligent confetti.

--Jennifer D. Munro, Author of The Erotica Writer's Husband

An erotic bazaar that swamps your senses...sweat, perfume, the scent of sex, the odor of books, the aroma of ink. Buy it. Read it. Wish you were in it.

--Jack Remick is the author of several novels and short story collections including Blood and Terminal Weird

"Hear ye, women! Read this gem of a novel!" Expect a riveting, moving, sexy ride. You're going to love this story.

--Susan Wingate, Award-winning, Amazon Bestselling author of Drowning
and the Bobby's Diner Series

About the Author

Sarah Martinez lives in Seattle with her husband and two children. She is a member of the Northwest Independent Editor's Guild, until recently served as Senior Editor for Pink Fish Press, and was a regular contributor for Line Zero, the quarterly literary and arts journal. Sex and Death in the American Novel is her first book.

Product Details

  • File Size: 561 KB
  • Print Length: 256 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Booktrope Editions (August 17, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0092VE97I
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,272,347 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
  •  Would you like to give feedback on images?

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Share your thoughts with other customers
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Erotic literature worthy of your brain August 31, 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I am the graphic designer for the first edition of this novel. I read an early draft and the final text.

Sex and Death appeals on many levels: escapist, sexy entertainment; gossipy brain candy; a dramatic story about the children of high-achieving parents; an expansive discussion of sexual identity; a pretty damned interesting reading list. In western society we have lots of labels for the way people identify. What if you could cut it even finer? What if your particular thoughts, feelings, and desires, those that crossed boundaries or varied with the situation, could be known and honored?

I know the author as a writer who cares deeply about good writing and about sexuality as an essential element in people's lives, in stories, in fictional plots, and character development.

The characters in this story express themselves to one another in the usual ways: friendship, family, shared pleasures. For some of them, the interaction includes dancing, sexual activity, and the art of writing. Sex and Death is packed with detailed descriptions of sensory experience along with thought-provoking discourse.

I like a story that hangs around in my brain for awhile when I'm done reading. This is one. Why only four stars? Because I know Sarah's next book will be even better.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great Idea but Flawed November 1, 2012
I really wanted to love this book. Unfortunately, I didn't. While I agree with other posters that the subject matter is brave, the theme is definitely worth exploring, and that it took guts to write, I felt that overall, it wasn't very well executed. There were some scenes that shone. The author is clearly in her element when it comes to vividly describing hot, heavy, anything-but-traditional sex. These scenes were given much love that I felt was missing from other parts of the book.

One of the major detractors of the book for me was the poor editing. The book had multiple grammatical and even spelling errors and the writing often felt disjointed and choppy. In some scenes, disjointed and choppy can add to the overall atmosphere, but in others, it's really distracting. The book should have gone through at least another round of editing.

I also felt like the author was guilty, to a certain extent, of a flaw that she points out in one of her own characters. Because of the extensive name dropping and references to what I assume are greats in the field of erotic literature, I felt left out since I didn't have any sort of background in that type of literature. It's like having a conversation with friends who continuously keep making references to their own little in-jokes. They only serve to shut out anyone who isn't in on the joke. The unfortunate effect is that this book is not a great choice for someone who is making their first foray into erotica.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Spectacular First Novel March 12, 2013
Sex, in Sex and Death in the American Novel by Sarah Martinez, is a long, slow, highly spiced meal, a dance, a quest, a search for a lost father in the shape of the lover, a trespass of conventional boundaries, a seeking after freedom and after art. This spectacular first novel is about grief and longing and literature. It's also a page-turner. I fell in love with Vivi, dancer and writer, and with both her lovers. In the end this is a deeply romantic love story about writing and dancing and loving in which the heroine must go to the wilderness alone to face down her demons. She returns to a sweeter and more generous (but still unconventional) intimacy. Read this novel!
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A good read April 6, 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I had fun reading this book. Does it get much better than that? I became involved with the narrator. I got to know her and to understand her and to care about her. I whipped through pages (or whatever they're called on a Kindle) wanting to know what would happen to her. How would her issues get resolved? Everything I wanted to learn was answered and I felt good about the various resolutions.

"Sex and Death in the American Novel" is called erotica. OK. There are certainly some very graphic and detailed descriptions of sexual encounters. However, when I think back on this novel, those scenes will have faded from my memory. Not that they weren't well crafted; they were. They simply had little interest for me. What will stay with me is the narrator's fight with her own demons; her struggle to BE in the way that is truest and most honest for her; her very human need to connect meaningfully to people who will permit her to BE.

Other reviewers have noted the large number of references to other literary works. For some people, that was apparently a distraction. For me, it was delightful. Since I had no familiarity with erotica (except for the obvious big names like Nin and Miller), I eagerly looked up each and every author Martinez mentioned. It was a great education for me in an area I'd known little to nothing about.

It was also interesting to consider the narrator's views about what's considered "literature" and what isn't. They annoyed me sometimes. But it wasn't annoyance that made me want to abandon reading. Quite the contrary. It made me want to climb into Viviana's (the narrator's) world and engage her in debate.

I've given only three stars for technical, not substantive, reasons.
Read more ›
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars I Agree, Read This Book
You know you've read a good book when, long after you've put the book down you find yourself wondering about what happened next in the story, and how the people you've read about... Read more
Published 18 months ago by Marcie Farmer
4.0 out of 5 stars Smart & sexy
I found this book both smart and sexy. No doubt women will enjoy it more than men. If you're an avid reader, interested in the evolution of literary art, you'll find it... Read more
Published 22 months ago by Gregory Harris
5.0 out of 5 stars A Body, Thinking: WOW!
Sex and Death in the American Novel. How could someone who has a Ph.D. in American Studies not love a book whose title cheekily hearkens back to one of the books that founded my... Read more
Published 22 months ago by Ryan Snyder Ananat
1.0 out of 5 stars Boring Wet Dream of a Novel
Admittedly I didn't get very far into this novel. What I did read was boring and punctuated by sexual daydreams that weren't even titillating.
Published 23 months ago by P. M. Dionne
5.0 out of 5 stars From one deviant to another - Bravo!
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was given and no promise of a positive review was made. Read more
Published 23 months ago by Pavarti
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read!
This book is the perfect balanced read. I'm an avid reader and the owner of a fairly nice sized library. Read more
Published on April 9, 2013 by Jennifer Martineau
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
I give five star ratings to books that have shaped my life in some way, so I haven't given many to books that I've read lately. Read more
Published on April 1, 2013 by Anneconley
4.0 out of 5 stars A great multi-layered read.
Sex and Death in the American Novel by Sarah Martinez isn't my typical fare. I'm a fantasy and science fiction geek. Read more
Published on February 15, 2013 by Nikki McCormack
4.0 out of 5 stars Honest literary erotica
Too often human sexuality is treated one of two ways: It's either hidden behind a veil of secrecy (or ignored all together) or it's pornography: prurient, degraded or shameful. Read more
Published on February 11, 2013 by Michael J. Mccormack
4.0 out of 5 stars Erotica for the Literary Reader
First up, I'm not typically an erotica reader. I mean, erotica is great and pushes boundaries in ways many other genres don't. Read more
Published on January 14, 2013 by everett maroon
Search Customer Reviews

More About the Author

Sarah Martinez lives in Seattle with her husband and two children. She is a member of the Northwest Independent Editor's Guild, and the Pacific Northwest Writers Association.


There are no discussions about this product yet.
Be the first to discuss this product with the community.
Start a new discussion
First post:
Prompts for sign-in