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This is Pleasure


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A masterful fictional contribution to the #MeToo debate, set to be the most fiercely debated book of the season

About the Author

Mary Gaitskill is the author of the story collections Bad Behavior, Because They Wanted To, and Don't Cry, and the novels Veronica, The Mare and Two Girls Fat and Thin. She has received a Guggenheim Fellowship and her work has appeared in the New Yorker, Harper's, Esquire, The Best American Short Stories, and the O. Henry Prize Stories.


I really admire how Mary Gaitskill is willing to think about the problematic with complexity and humanity, and without taking sides or engaging in all the fashionable moral hectoring that passes for serious thought these days. This is Pleasure is a breath of intellectual fresh air and badly needed. -- Eimear McBride
At the heart of this extraordinary, daring, provocative, pitch perfect story lies the idea that, sometimes, we act out a truth, only to run from it. -- Rachel Cooke * The Observer *
Mary Gaitskill is just the person to take on the task of questioning #MeToo's harasser vs. victim scenarios in a fictional context ... Whether you agree or disagree, it is time to have these conversations ... Give This is Pleasure to someone you want to talk to. * Washington Post *
Gaitskill is enormously gifted * The New York Times Book Review *
Gaitskill's willingness to ignore common wisdom and consider controversial and complex questions from different viewpoints is a true literary pleasure * Kirkus starred review *
Gaitskill's work feels more real than real life and reading her leads to a place that feels like a sacred space * The Boston Globe *
The range of Gaitskill's humanity is astonishing * LA Times *
Gaitskill is at the height of her powers in this novella. The empathy we feel for her characters is not despite, but because of, the fierce clarity of her prose. -- Colin Barrett, author of Young Skins
In fewer than 100 pages, Gaitskill achieves a superb feat. She distils the suffering, anger, reactivity, danger and social recalibration of the #MeToo movement into an extremely potent, intelligent and nuanced account. This Is Pleasure sensitively and confidently holds its fury, momentum, contrary forces and imperfect humanity within a perfect frame. -- Sarah Hall * The Guardian *
The work of an expert iconoclast * Metro *
This Is Pleasure is a little novella that gets deep under your skin. At 96 pages, it is an exquisitely compressed, morally tangly saga about a charming, middle-aged book publisher who is accused of workplace harassment. Gaitskill writes in clean, rigorous prose but builds in tripwires that keep the reader guessing where her sympathies might lie. -- Johanna Thomas-Corr * The Sunday Times *
This is Pleasure is set in an eerie borderland between pleasure and pain, intimacy and exploitation, a truth and a lie. And it is testament to Gaitskill that through her stories we can hope to understand one another. This, it would seem, is the one true pleasure. -- Isobel Shirlaw * iNews *
A tale for our time, if ever there was one. -- Katy Thompsett * Refinery 29 *
This small book packs a punch and aims straight for your gut. -- Sana Goyal * Huffington Post UK *
Perfectly-weighted, impeccable -- Anne Enright
This Is Pleasure by Mary Gaitskill is a brilliant expedition across the minefields of the #MeToo wars ... a deft and funny and thought-provoking story, and it never shies away from the most difficult truths, such as the way that men who genuinely listen to women can subsequently get away with almost anything. Gaitskill's fiction gets close in to the migraine whine of the contemporary moment like that of few others. -- Kevin Barry
Gaitskill has long been interested in the power play inherent in sexual relationships, so when it comes to probing the messy, murky topography of abuses of power and issues of consent, she's definitely the woman for the job. What makes This is Pleasure so audacious is that it reminds us that sometimes we want to behave in ways we shouldn't, so we do things and then we run from them, and it's in the tension between the two that the truth is located -- Lucy Scholes * Daily Telegraph *
It's a stunningly written, arch look at transgression and our need to feel understood and confided in, and in an age of calling out groping men who think they can hide behind their money, it's of the moment too. -- James Clarke * The Guardian, Best Books of 2019 Writer's Choice *
Margot doesn't exist simply as the voice of reason; Gaitskill is too accomplished to present us with such a blunt paradigm. Rather, she is believable as a woman of questionable judgement, taken in by a narrative she has been sold. And we are sad for her, and for Quin, too. -- Eli Goldstone * TLS *

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