In Search of Pure Lust: A Memoir


Product Details

$16.95  $15.59
She Writes Press
Publish Date
5.5 X 8.5 X 1.0 inches | 1.0 pounds

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About the Author

Lise Weil founded Trivia: A Journal of Ideas, an award-winning radical feminist literary and political magazine, in 1982, which she edited for nine years. She was also editor of its online relaunch, Trivia: Voices of Feminism, from 2004 to 2011. In 1990 she translated German writer Christina Thurner-Rohr's collection of essays Vagabonding: Feminist Thinking Cut Loose (Vagabundinnen), which was published by Beacon Press, and founded the online journal Dark Matter: Women Witnessing in 2014. Weil's short fiction, essays, reviews, literary nonfiction, and translations have been published widely in journals in both Canada and the US. Her collection of Mary Meigs's writings on aging, Beyond Recall (2005), was a finalist for a Lambda Literary Award in biography in 2006. Weil teaches in the Individualized Master's program in Goddard College's Graduate Institute. She lives in Montreal and spends summers in a cabin in the woods north of the city, where she hosts annual retreats for women writers centered around dreamwork.


2019 IPPY Bronze Medal Winner in LGBTQ+ Non-Fiction 2019 International Book Awards, Finalist, LGBTQ Non-Fiction 2019 Best Book Awards Finalist in LGBTQ Non-Fiction "In her evocative retelling of her personal and activist experience, Weil spares no one, least of all herself, but her telling increases in insight and tenderness as her Buddhist practice evolves. Her quest as visionary feminist thinker resonates with, and extends, the work of North American writers of those decades like Daly, Rich, and Brossard. Weil's inquiry will companion readers seeking to recognize, reinvent, or reinvigorate their life beyond the tropes and terrors of the twenty-first century. " --Betsy Warland, author of Oscar of Between: A Memoir of Identity and Ideas and Breathing the Page: Reading the Act of Writing "In Search of Pure Lust is an invigorating ride through the heady days of '70s and '80s feminism, a raw mixture of the personal with the political and the political with the personal. It's also a compelling meditation on lesbian desire. Weil's searing honesty--it's never easy to look in the mirror, never mind reveal to the world what you see--grips you and never lets go. There's tenderness here and pain and compassion also, all the transformative facets of love. If I'd read this book in my twenties it's quite possible that it would have changed my life." --Eva Tihanyi, author of five books of poetry, including Wresting the Grace of the World and Restoring the Wickedness, and a regular book reviewer for the National Post "Intimate, personal, visionary, In Search of Pure Lust is the chronicle of a now vanished golden age of the lesbian feminist movement, a time when we lived the belief that we were reinventing culture and society from root to flower. . . . A page-turner, and a call to remembrance. The reader should expect to stay up all night, and for many nights, reading." --Kim Chernin, best-selling author of In My Mother's House and The Hungry Self "A poetic memoir of feminist history as told by a practicing lesbian. By turns hot and cold, raunchy and literate, Buddhist and Sapphist, it is a generous, complex complement to any story or study of women. Weil makes me grateful to have shared this history." --Kate Clinton, humorist. AKA Jane "Lise Weil, founder of the unique and essential feminist journal Trivia: A Journal of Ideas, ponders what went right--but also wrong--in this momentous time of her own and so many other women's awakening. In Search of Pure Lust provides an invaluable record of the power--personal, political, historical, and spiritual--of women lusting for women." --Jane Caputi, author of Gossips, Gorgons and Crones: the Fates of the Earth and The Age of Sex Crime "Lise Weil's story wisely does not neatly tie together threads of contradictory magnetisms, but weaves among them: the longing for maternal acceptance, offset and upset by the lure of passion and sexual expression. The search for physical everyday love, balanced, but not assuaged by, the communal peace of spirituality. And the lust for individual freedom offset, upset by, and in denial of the continual need for community activism and social justice. All together, this is surprisingly contemporary in its resonance, and compellingly told." --Judy Grahn, author of The Common Woman Poems, The Highest Apple, Another Mother Tongue: Gay Words, Gay Worlds, and A Simple Revolution "Lise Weil's quest to split the world open and recreate it anew takes her on a physical and spiritual journey that helps shape a movement--and ultimately lands her on a Zen cushion where she begins to recognize the gifts, as well as the limitations, of her own desire. This is the most alive and embodied book I've read in years. I found myself inspired and broken-hearted again and again. Weil's story continues to burn in the heart long after the last page is turned." --Donna M. Johnson, author of the New York Times best-selling Holy Ghost Girl "Lise Weil's In Search of Pure Lust is an erotic and intellectual powerhouse of a memoir. She takes us on her epic adventures as a pioneer in the uncharted territory of radical lesbian feminism. Her quest from decades-past is relevant as ever during this era of #MeToo." --Jill Dearman, author of The Great Bravura, Bang the Keys, A History of Feminism "In Search of Pure Lust provides a window into one vibrant strand of 1980s lesbian feminism. Lise Weil brings to life politics and theories that animated activism as well as heartbreak and conflict. Her account of the debates about sex and sexuality is particularly rich. The history of Trivia: A Journal of Ideas is a fascinating one and Weil's commitment to lesbian theory and lesbian writing are inspiring." --Julie R. Enszer, author of Avowed and editor of Sinister Wisdom "A lyrical odyssey into the shifting politics and alliances of lesbian feminism--alliances that sometimes disrupted a community ethos of love. Weil's memoir is one of the few to portray how women have acted on desire sexually, only to break apart culturally. The women's music references create an authentically remembered background to an era when so many women were coming out as lesbians while discovering their potential in the arts and letters." --Bonnie J. Morris, author of The Disappearing L. and Sappho's Bar and Grill