The Vine: April 25, 2014
About 15 years ago I picked up a book of seven or so short stories in my local bookstore. The stories were written by a young woman — I think this was her first published book.
It was a hardcover in the new- release section, so it would have come out in the late '90s or early 2000s.
The stories were about sexual power exchange, and so had a D/S theme, but this wasn't erotica of even the "Story of O" or "50 Shades of Grey" type — they were more literary, something that might have been reviewed in the NY Times Book Review (back in the pre-"50 Shades" era.)
I lost or gave away the book years ago, and the only story I have a clear memory of — the one I would like to read again — was about a woman who began studying a martial art and ended up having an affair with her sensei. The beginning of the story described her erotic frisson at having arrived late to class and being made to wait, unacknowledged, in the back of the room until after the opening exercises, then having to humbly bow to the teacher and the other students. After a while they begin an affair, and the power balance shifts subtly from the teacher to the student. There was also something, either in that story, or another one, about an inner-lip tattoo that said, upside-down, "See?"
The dust jacket might have been a dark pinkish-mauve color, and the author's first name might have been something like "Alyssa" or "Alanna." I remember her being striking-looking in her author's photo, with long dark wavy hair, a little like Idina Menzel.
I'd really like to get my hands on another copy of this book, but I can't remember any useful details like the title or the author's last name, and searches for D/S short stories and stories with inner-lip tattoos have not so far been fruitful, so I thought I'd give the Nation a try.
Tags: Ask The Readers popcult