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A Round-Heeled Woman: My Late-Life Adventures in Sex and Romance Paperback – May 11, 2004


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A Round-Heeled Woman: My Late-Life Adventures in Sex and Romance + Unaccompanied Women: Late-Life Adventures in Love, Sex, and Real Estate + Sex and the Seasoned Woman: Pursuing the Passionate Life
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Villard; Reprint edition (May 11, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0812967879
  • ISBN-13: 978-0812967876
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.1 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (101 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #145,715 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Contrary to the lurid title (a "round-heeled woman" was once slang for a prostitute), Juska is a semiretired English teacher with refined tastes: Trollope novels , opera and museums. "Before I turn 67-next March," she wrote to the personals column of the New York Review of Books, "I would like to have a lot of sex with a man I like." While her adventures meeting these men frame her narrative, she's no geriatric Emmanuelle on a coast-to-coast fling, in spite of proclamations like "I adore penises." It's just that she was raised by repressed Midwesterners and had never managed-given her spiritual and physical bulk-a truly fulfilling love affair. Married to a loveless man, she then spent years in social retreat as a single mom. By the time she emerged from her chrysalis, she realized she'd never had a chance at pleasure, hence the ad and her comic adventures with the assortment of men culled from the daily mail. While it's no surprise that the best man comes last and that he's a hunk with a brilliant mind, this Harold-Maude liaison is hardly the most compelling chapter of this quirky little memoir. Surprisingly, it's Juska's accounts of visiting the Berg collection at the New York Public Library, or the stories of her writing classes at a prison, that remain in mind, long after her personals game has faded. Old women looking for sex may not seem a hot topic, but there's something universal in this woman's love affair with the written word.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

"Before I turn 67--next March--I would like to have a lot of sex with a man I like. If you want to talk first, Trollope works for me." When Juska, a retired schoolteacher from Berkeley, placed this ad in the New York Review of Books, she was relatively happy with her life except that "it didn't have any touching in it." This thoroughly engaging memoir not only describes her attempt to find someone to touch, but also recounts the story of her life up to the point she placed the ad. "I am . . . a cliche," she laments, after describing her history of sexual abuse, repressed memory syndrome, weight and drug problems. The litany is familiar, to be sure, but there is nothing cliched about Juska's determination to reinvent herself. We learn of her sexual adventures and of the resulting emotional entanglements, but what is most amazing about this refreshingly honest, remarkably candid story isn't the senior sex but the courage shown by a round-heeled woman who decided it was time to pursue passion with a vengeance. Ilene Cooper
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

This book is true and real and very funny and I couldn't put it down.
Beachreader42RI
The two thirds of the book dealing with extraneous and distracting matters are poorly written, and I found myself skipping whole pages at a time.
Beatrice Izzey
Sometimes it seems like she really wants to push this balls-to-the-walls persona, and for me it can go too far.
Colleen O'Neill Conlan

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

146 of 152 people found the following review helpful By R. Hardy HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on June 9, 2003
Format: Hardcover
For decades, the personals section of _The New York Review of Books_ has been a cheerful island of sexuality within an august intellectual setting. Those of us who browse it out of curiosity rather than sincere shopping can't help but wonder how these attempts at finding love turn out. Will the beautiful, brainy SJF, earthmother, find her sweet, brilliant, companionable sexy beast? Will the adventurous, intellectual, DWM, 47, periodontist, photographer, musician, cat-lover find his full-figured woman for passionate sex and scintillating discussions? (I am citing real ads from a recent issue.) Thanks to Jane Juska, we know, quite thoroughly, how one of those ads played out. Juska was watching an Eric Roehmer film in Berkeley, carefully munching her malted milk balls, when she started writing her ad. Carefully budgeting the $4.55-per-word prose, she eventually submitted, "Before I turn 67 - next March - I would like to have a lot of sex with a man I like. If you want to talk first, Trollope works for me." Her funny, revealing, and smart book, _A Round-Heeled Woman: My Late-Life Adventures in Sex and Romance_ (Villard), shows that the old slogan is quite true: it pays to advertise.
If you are not "of a certain age", Juska's title might elude you. It is an old phrase that indicates a woman who is easy to get to go from vertical to horizontal. "My heels are very round," she writes, "I'm an easy lay. An easy sixty-seven year old lay. 'Twas not always so." She had gone through decades of not having a man in her life. This is not just a story of what happened once she placed her ad, but also a memoir of her life so far that led to its placement.
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51 of 55 people found the following review helpful By Beachreader42RI on May 10, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Jane Juska's new book, A Round Heeled Woman, is not just a tale of the results of her advertisement for a sexual relationship with "a man I like". She meets some wonderful and some not so wonderful men, and the reader suffers through the disappointments and rejections and cheers the successes. (And there are several.) Yet it is her narrative of teaching in High School and at San Quentin that is so poignant and shows as much about who she is as does the ad which depicts her as a daring woman who is looking for a connection at long last, a woman who "wants to be touched" . One hopes that she writes another book, and quickly, about her teaching years, all forty of them, and in particular more about her prison students. This book is true and real and very funny and I couldn't put it down. I for one would love to meet this remarkable woman.
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63 of 69 people found the following review helpful By Peggy Vincent on May 14, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Long awaited book since the first reviews and all the hype appeared. Thank goodness she lives in Berkeley, 2 minutes from me, as that means I'll be able to attend a book reading somewhere nearby. The lady's got guts, chutzpah, joie de vivre, etc - - - but most of all, boy, can she write!
The narrative arc of A Round-Heeled Woman is framed on Juska's desire for a truly fulfilling sexual relationship for, one may assume, the first time in her life. After decades as a teacher and a single mom, looking old age eyeball-to-eyeball, she leaps into the bizarre world of Personals Ads and comes up a winner.
Deeper, however, than the sexual narrative, is the story of her blossoming as a fully-actualized woman.
What's not to love about this book? I didn't find anything.
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36 of 39 people found the following review helpful By dikybabe on October 11, 2003
Format: Hardcover
The Juska ad in the New York Review anchors this book's plot, but be forewarned, you will learn more about Jane, the author, than just her desire for sexual fulfillment as a senior citizen. You will learn of her warts and all, a dysfunctional wife and mother, a sexually abused chld, an alcoholic, an overeater, an intellectual to the max.
And if things herein shock you, there is plenty more to delight the mature reader, male or female, as this woman tells all, reveling in her special times as a teacher, especially that time in San Quentin with her prisoner learners. Her writing institute base of teaching writing is so familiar to any English teacher who might be reading this memoir. And the revealing stories of her incarcerated students present the most moving segment of the whole book.
This woman loves life and just happens to believe in making sure that she participates in it with companions to touch and stroke her needy body. In conjunction with these intimate encounters comes true enlightment, as she falls in love with New York City, and partakes of special places, including the actual writings of Herman Melville. She is indomitable, indefatiguable, a woman who does not let her calendar age stop her from really living. Her independance, not that of a wealthy woman, comes purely from determination. She is, therefore, an inspiration to those who are aging, the baby boomers who may foolishly wonder whether they should just long for times gone by, or if they should strike out and LIVE!
Jane Juska is a brave woman, as she bares her soul and tells all the secrets without disguising them in a work of fiction. I am glad my best friend from our teen years gave me this book to read and review.
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