Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
The Joy of Writing Sex

The Joy of Writing Sex

A Guide for Fiction Writers

Elizabeth Benedict

Holt Paperbacks



Twelve years after it was first published, The Joy of Writing Sex remains the classic writer's resource on creating compelling sex scenes. Elizabeth Benedict covers all the issues, from the first time, to married sex and adultery, to sex in the age of AIDS.

Her instruction, supported with examples from the works of today's most respected writers—among them, Dorothy Allison, Russell Banks, Alan Hollinghurst, Joyce Carol Oates, Carol Shields, and John Updike—focuses on crafting believable sex scenes that hinge on freshness of character, dialogue, mood, and plot.

In this revised edition, Benedict addresses the latest sexual revolution, intimacy on the Internet; adds new interviews with Edmund White, Darren Strauss, Stephen McCauley, and other writers; and updates her selections to include examples from the best fiction of the past few years.


Praise for The Joy of Writing Sex

“Skillfully balanced between a primer for the M.F.A. crowd and a smart essay for the literary generalist...The Joy of Writing Sex proves again that when it comes to books, quality is what counts.” —The Philadelphia Inquirer

“Here is clearly the most enterprising how-to book of our era...sane and straightforward and-he said bashfully-very interesting.” —Scott Turow

“The definitive book on writing sex in fiction that is a wonderful and handy compendium of how to write-and have fun with-sex” —Carolyn See

Reviews from Goodreads

About the author

Elizabeth Benedict

Elizabeth Benedict is the author of five novels, including Slow Dancing, which was a finalist for the National Book Award, and the national bestseller, Almost. She writes nonfiction for many publications, including The Huffington Post, The New York Times, Allure, Tin House, and Daedalus. She has taught writing at Princeton University, the University of Iowa Writer's Workshop, Barnard, and MIT, and lives in New York City.

Elizabeth Benedict

From the Publisher

Holt Paperbacks

Latest on Facebook