Sex, once the great unspoken, is now regularly commodified and prepackaged for wide consumer consumption, on TV, in films, on billboards. In this context in which nothing is shocking--no boundary too sacred to cross--what does sex mean, particularly to those born under these conditions? Carnal Nation collects stories about sex by an exciting new generation of writers who boldly push the narrative envelope. These are not your typical bump-and-grind tales, but stories written in a startling new language, bringing fresh meaning to the term "polymorphously perverse": from a high-school deflowering on the hood of a car by a dildo-wielding girl who calls herself a guy, to a talented male stripper who demonstrates his ability to open a Coke bottle with no hands, to suburban porn watching as a precursor to racial harmony.
The thirty-two contributors include some of the most provocative and interesting young writers working today. Carnal Nation is cunning, shocking, and brazenly cocky.
Contributors include: Alison Acheson, Sonja Ahlers, Diana Atkinson, Michelle Berry, Carellin Brooks, Clint Burnham, Natalee Caple, Martine Delveaux, Tamas Dobozy, Tess Fragoulis, Camilla Gibb, Sky Gilbert, Robert Gray, Steven Heighton, Michael Holmes, Larissa Lai, Elise Levine, Annabel Lyon, Judy MacDonald, Mark Macdonald, Suzette Mayr, Derek McCormack, Hal Niedzviecki, Andy Quan, Rachel Rose, Michael V. Smith, Erin Soros, Nathalie Stephens, Anne Stone, Michael Turner, R.M. Vaughan, and Marnie Woodrow.
About the authors
Carellin Brooks' earliest childhood memory of Wreck Beach is mostly of the arduous trek of four hundred odd steps that lead down to the beach. An inquisitive and adventurous 18–year–old, she later undertook the mission to find Wreck Beach but success eluded her: she walked around the point from Spanish Banks, getting as far as Tower Beach. Discovering and exploring what she now considers to be the best nude beach in the world would have to wait.
But not for too long. Upon returning from England where she completed a Master of Studies degree in English, she rediscovered what it was that had intrigued her about the beach in the first place: the unbridled idealism nestled within its natural beauty. Wreck Beach is one of Vancouver's least commercialized beaches, where concession stands, manmade swimimng pools and toilets with plumbing are nothing more than myths. It is this fantastic purity that continues to fascinate her, she says. The first time Brooks shed her clothes and swam in the nude, she recalls, was a "mystical experience. The day was perfect, sunny, glowing. It was heaven." Going to the beach is a respite from the fast–paced, commercial lifestyle that's packaged and sold to us daily. Lying in the hot sun, cooling off in the refreshing ocean, reliving the utopian moment of serenity, celebrating the landscape: these are only some of the experiences that she says whisk one's soul away from the chaos of city life.
Even so, she considers herself representative of the average beachgoer. Although Brooks is a great supporter of the work done by the Wreck Beach Preservation Society, her love affair with the beach is one that's highly personal, and not so much ideological. She visits the beach as often as time permits, simply to enjoy. Her favourite spot is the main beach because access to the ocean for swimming is best.
What else remains to be added to the Wreck Beach experience for Brooks? Now that Wreck Beach the book is complete, and she's attended the annual Polar Bear swim on New Year's Day, she has a new goal: to visit the beach each month of the year.
Brett Josef Grubisic teaches contemporary literature at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. His most recent book of fiction is This Location of Unknown Possibilities (2014). He is the author of Understanding Beryl Bainbridge, co-author (with David L. Chapman) of American Hunks: The Muscular Male Body in Popular Culture, 1860—1970 and co-editor (with Andrea Cabajsky) of National Plots: Historical Fiction and Changing Ideas of Canada (WLU Press, 2010).
Dispels any notion of polite reserve . . . startlingly frank and sometimes raunchy.
Other titles by Carellin Brooks
Other titles by Brett Josef Grubisic
Oldness; or, the Last-Ditch Efforts of Marcus O
From Up River and for One Night Only
Blast, Corrupt, Dismantle, Erase
Contemporary North American Dystopian Literature
This Location of Unknown Possibilities
Historical Fiction and Changing Ideas of Canada
The Muscular Male Body in Popular Culture, 1860-1970
The Age of Cities
New Queer Male Fiction