Couldn’t Put This Book Down! Aren’t we all 16 year olds at heart?
I have been an admirer of Maria Pallotta-Chiarolli for several years now, with the highest respect for her ideas and the complexities her research brings out. A specialist in psychosocial analysis, Pallotta-Chiarolli has worked extensively on bisexuality as it intersects with second-wave feminism and Deconstruction.
I read Love You Two because I love the memoir as a genre (am also author of one), and was curious about how Maria would handle a work of narrative that, albeit not exactly a memoir, is nonetheless quite close to the experiences of her personal life and those of the communities she is part of and is a researcher about, including Australian Italians who consort with LGBTQ groups and lifestyles. I am the kind of academic who not only respects, but also fervently admires those of us able to write for the general public–able to communicate our ideas and emotions in ways simple enough for anybody to grasp. I’ve tried my own hand at that with some success . . . .
What Maria has done with this book is astounding: not only she has succeeded in getting off the scholarly pedestal and wear the hat of a genuine narrator who has a story to tell and is passionate about it, she also has managed to shift the narrator’s viewpoint one entire generation forward from ours. In fact, I remember asking her “how did you manage to figure out so well how a 16 year old girl today would feel about her polyamorous mom?” This is what made the book for me impossible to put down.
At heart, we all are 16 year olds, especially if we are capable of love and passion. The emotions of adolescence awaken us to the magic of love in adult life. Isn’t the ability to be present to the intensity of these emotions the mark of a true storyteller and writer? If it is, then Love You Two definitely bears that one. Other merits are of course the book’s ability to capture the predicament of those in Italian communities overseas (be it Australia, America, or other) to stay connected to the cultural legacies of their origins without being enslaved by them: to appreciate the intensity of the drama of life in ways that are especially Italian, and fertilize gay, queer, and bi communities with that authenticity and passion.
A must read for anyone interested in LGBTQ literature as it intersects with the experience of being part of ethnic and other minority cultures whose ‘differences’ are often either hyper-accentuated or not made visible enough.
Recommendation: Buy Love You Two on September 26th! That’s the push-up date for best-sell day of the Kindle edition of Gaia and the New Politics of Love. Get that one too while you’re at it, and remember to recommend a soon-to-be-published Kindle edition for Maria’s book. Corporations won’t get to decide what’s a best seller as long as e don’t let them. Push up to the best seller list books who reflect the perspectives of our sex-positive, the-erotic-is-sacred, bi-ecosexual communities and these perspective will expand. Participate in the effort to reclaim what a good book looks like!