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Sexual Harassment Rules Paperback – August 31, 2013
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About the Author
Lynda Schor has had 6 collections of short fiction published, and her stories have been published in a variety of magazines and literary journals. She has won several grants, including two Maryland State Arts Council Grants, a Baltimore City Arts Grant, the Ann Tyler Prize for Fiction, an O’Henry nomination, and received fellowships from the Ragdale Foundation, The MacDowell Foundation, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and others. She has been a Writer-In-Residence at many colleges and universities, including Florida International University, Maryland Institute, College of Art, and Western Washington University. She taught in the Writing Program of The New School for 25 years. Currently, she lives with her husband, Halvard Johnson, a poet, and their two dogs, Natasha and Koki in San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, Mexico.
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Some of the stories are highly experimental, with short sections, most of which are images rather than paragraphs. Nothing is hard to get, though, and two of my favorite pieces are selections from a faux blog called Writing Advice Blog. In "Sentence Wrangling," the fictional blogger describes how her sentences have been criticized, and she tries to improve them, but gradually loses control of the little critters, and they eventually form a concatenation and loop around and knock her out of her chair.
There are plenty of orgies and explorations of what is and isn't harassment and what is actually titillating and what's not. There is never a dull moment, but neither are the stories ever less than a serious examination of how we yearn for love and have sex-- and fail to be satisfied.
Many of the main characters are sexual initiates, usually ingénues. Sometimes their experiences are wildly comical, as in “The Highest Grader of All,” but always there is a kind of persistent innocence, even a winsomeness. Beyond the various sexual contretemps, the sometimes harsh satire, and the insistence that we look at the biological facts straight on there remains the genuinely binding force of Eros we all long for. And then there are stories like “Poet in the Schools” and “This is not Sexual Harassment,” in which the woman is older now and the feelings are very different, almost Chekhovian in their complexity and subtlety.
I laughed a lot. I felt pity. In some places I really didn’t want to look or know, but I did.