The Prisoner of Sex Author:Norman Mailer Here, by America's foremost candidate for the Nobel Prize, is the book that some fifteen years ago created a firestorm among true believeers of the women's liberation movement, and which on rereading and contemplation emerges as one of the most sensible, sensitive and probing works on the ageless dialectic of man, woman, man-woman ever to be wri... more »tten.
Unlike some of those who have excoriated him for his views, Mailer writes with with wit and compassion, clearly a man who loves women, and who is dedicated to the proporsition of vive la difference. On one level, this work is a spirited defense of the differeences between the sexes, a vigorus condemnation of those forces in society which strike at the heart of individuality, but as Pete Hamill emphasizes in his introduction, it is also a fascinating glimpse at the "processes of Mailer's thinking." Hamill compares Mailer's rhetorical counterpunching to a bravura jazz performance: "Again and again, he enters his piece with a light-hearted prologue, then states the melody or theme. From there he races off on an improvisation whose brilliance and complexity are up to him on any given evening, free of the constraints of conventional form, able to call on as much of what he knows (about the world, the self) as he cares to reveal." And reveal he does, lighting up the sexual stage with verbal pyrotechnics, forcing us by clever twists and turns into a new understanding of ourselves.« less