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JEALOUSY: The Other Life of Catherine M.

Catherine Millet
Grove Press, New York
2009
ISBN: 9780802119155
Pages: 185
Format: Hardcover in Dustjacket
Quantity in stock: 0

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Price: $18.95 (inc GST)

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Hardcover in Dustjacket. Catherine Millet's's best-selling The Sexual Life of Catherine M. was a landmark book--a portrait of a sexual life lived without boundaries and without a safety net. Described as "eloquent, graphic--and sometimes even poignant" by Newsweek, and as "[perhaps] one of the most erotic books ever written" by Playboy, it drew international attention for its audacity and the apparently superhuman sangfroid of Millet and her partner, Jacques Henric, with whom she had an extremely public and active open relationship. Millet's follow-up answers the first book's implicit question: how do you avoid jealousy? "I had love at home," Millet explains. "I sought only pleasure in the world outside." But one day she discovers a letter in their apartment that makes clear Jacques is seriously involved with someone else. Jealousy details the crisis provoked by this discovery, and Millet's attempts to reconcile her need for freedom and sexual liberation with the very real heartache that Jacques's infidelity causes. If The Sexual Life of Catherine M. seemed to disregard emotion, Jealousy is its radical complement: the paradoxical confession of a libertine who discovers that love, in any of its forms, can have a dark side.

The French art critic and author of the sensational erotic memoir The Sexual Life of Catherine M. follows up with a somewhat similarly salacious, achingly candid, though more rueful chronicle of how she felt after discovering her longtime partner's pattern of philandering. Opening an envelope one day on his desk in their shared Paris apartment, Millet discovered that he had taken naked pictures of another woman; once on the scent, she sifted through his notebooks finding numerous instances of his having slept with other women. The irony here is that the author is a self-described libertine. She had been open to taking on lovers outside of her committed relationship with novelist Jacques Henric since before they even began living together, back when she wrote art criticism in the late 1970s. In fact, she prided herself on her availability, becoming a “floating,” flexible body at the pleasure of others, with “several relationships on the go at once.” Discovering the truth about Jacques precipitated a physical sea change: already a practiced masturbator and voyeur, Millet filled in the details of Jacques's infidelity with a masochistic pleasure and self-abasement, even prompting him about details and scouring his novels for clues. Her jealousy became an “addiction,” and over almost three years the crisis endured, during which the couple kept a bruising tally of grief. Millet is a closely detailed, unflinching self-scrutinizer

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