In Search of the Hermaphrodite

In Search of the Hermaphrodite: A Memoir
Richard Collins

"The author's amazing memory-gallery of femmes dances in the sky like le can-can over Toulouse's head as he painted them . . . sexcapades that are not tawdry, more like a ballet, so dancerly. What Flaubert said about Emma Bovary ("C'est moi"), Collins could say about his search for the hermaphrodite in museums and libraries (and boudoirs) where he absorbed, merged with, became one with those lovely, mythological-in-their-own-early-'80s-time-and-space modern living and breathing glorious goddesses galore . . . a fabulous fun read and fascinating erudite picaresque romp."
   — Joan Jobe Smith, author of Charles Bukowski Epic Glottis: His Art & His Women (& me) and Tales of an Ancient Go-go Girl

"Richard Collins's engaging memoir won me over. Ingeniously written, rich in imagery, metaphors, and literary allusions, the author mixes memories of his youthful sex life with scholarly meditations on the nonbinary, androgynous, the in-between. A colorful cast of characters, in a variety of European cities, accompanies him on his journey. I thoroughly enjoyed the trip."
— Steven Moore, author of The Novel: An Alternative History

"In In Search of the Hermaphrodite, memoir and scholarship melt into each other in a kind of literary beast with two backs. Or more. For the deeper the narrative penetrates into the personal, rational, emotional, aesthetic, and literary mysteries of erotic life and theory, the stickier the subject matter itself seems. Which is just the way we all like it, whether we admit it or not. Every angle from which Richard Collins approaches the theories of his erotic life is a rush of a different kind. Henry Miller would have loved this book."
  — Dana Wilde, author of Winter: Notes and Numina from the Maine Woods

"I read this book almost in one go while listening to Handel's Julius Caesar. And it worked perfectly because the book is like an opera. A dramatic performance. Yet so intimate. Sung with hand on heart. And the final pages about writing, the why of it all, is majestically well said: the author afraid he would never finish telling the story but also afraid that he would finish it and that the hallucinations of memory would cease. But most of all, whenever I think about this book, I break out in jolly laughter."
— Philippe Coupey, author of Zen Fragments: Teachings and Recollections of a Zen Monk in Paris


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