This Is Pleasure

This Is Pleasure

Starting with 'Bad Behavior' in the 1980s, Mary Gaitskill has been writing about gender relations with searing, even prophetic honesty. In 'This Is Pleasure', she considers our present moment through the lens of a particular #MeToo incident.

The effervescent, well-dressed Quin, a successful book editor and fixture on the New York arts scene, has been accused of repeated, unforgivable transgressions towards the women in his orbit. But, are they unforgivable? And who has the right to forgive him? To Quin's friend Margot, the wrongdoing is less clear. Alternating between Quin's and Margot's voices and perspectives, Gaitskill creates a nuanced tragicomedy, one that reveals her characters as whole persons - hurtful and hurting, infuriating and touching, and always deeply recognizable.

Gaitskill has said that fiction is the only way she can approach this subject since it is too emotionally faceted to treat in the more rational essay form. Her compliment to her characters - and to her readers - is that they are unvarnished and real. Her belief in our ability to understand them, even when we don't always admire them, is a gesture of genuine humanity from one of our greatest contemporary writers.

©2019 Mary Gaitskill (P)2019 Random House Audio

Title:This Is Pleasure
ISBN:null
Format Type:

    This Is Pleasure Reviews

  • Trin

    This is trying so hard to be provocative, to be like, "There's two sides to the Me Too debate though, isn't there?" Not really, man. If you accept the argument that "women can just say no" (as if, in ...

  • Eric Anderson

    Over the past few years it’s been inspiring seeing how the momentum of the Me Too movement has raised people’s awareness about sexual harassment and sexual assault as well as instigate a lot of di...

  • Woody Chichester

    This was so complex for such a short story. I have read reviews saying Gaitskill was trying to show both sides of the story in a "#metoo" tale. Maybe she was, but that's not what I got at all. I think...

  • Lorri Steinbacher

    This would be perfect for a book discussion group because it is perfectly, perfectly ambiguous. You know what you want to think and once you start reading you can't decide if you should be mad or what...

  • Sarah

    Nope....

  • Diana

    Mary Gaitskill wanted to explore the ambiguities of #MeToo, so she did it in this short story narrated by a flirtatious, charming, creepy man in the publishing industry and by his friend, a woman, who...

  • Rebecca

    Originally published as a short story in the New Yorker, this is a familiar reflection on white male privilege and the exploitation of women. What’s somewhat unique is the way Gaitskill alternates b...

  • JimZ

    I had a hard time reading this story and rating it – it strained credulity. There are a number of characters in the story, the main ones being 1) Quin, book editor in NYC, a man who seems to say (an...

  • Sian Lile-Pastore

    This is an uncomfortable read. I read this as it was the characters thoughts rather than the writers thoughts - so while the character is pretty much defending a creepy guy who has sexually harrassed ...

  • Vanya

    Mary Gaitskill’s This is Pleasure is a short story that first appeared in The New Yorker. The story is an attempt to investigate the finer nuances of the #MeToo movement, which the author believes h...