'Feisty, charming, moving and wise, this page-turner of a memoir proves that life for a woman – sexual and otherwise – hardly stops at thirty-nine... forty-nine or fifty-nine.'
Cathi Hanauer, editor of The Bitch in the House
'There's something universal in her love affair with the written word.'
'A moving meditation on the libido of the pre-baby-boomer, post-menopause generation. In case that sounds forbiddingly high-minded, rest assured that it is also raunchy.'
'Before I turn 67 – next March – I would like to have a lot of sex with a man I like. If you want to talk first, Trollope works for me ...'
Inspired by Eric Rohmer's film Autumn Tale, Jane Juska, a smart, energetic divorcée of a certain age, decided she'd been celibate too long, and placed a personal ad in her favourite newspaper, The New York Review of Books.
The response was overwhelming, and Juska took a sabbatical from teaching to meet some of the men who replied. And since her ad made it clear that she wasn't expecting just hand-holding, her dates went from first base to the full monty in record time.
'Round-heeled' is an old-fashioned epithet for a woman of easy virtue. It's a surprising way for a respectable English teacher with a passion for the novels of Anthony Trollope to describe herself, but then that's just one of the many surprises to be found in this poignant, funny, unique memoir. Juska is a totaly engaging, perceptive writer, funny and frank about her exploits. It's high time someone revealed the fact that older single people are as eager for sex and intimacy as their older counterparts.
Jane Juska's brave, honest memoir will probably raise eyebrows and blood pressure, but it will undoubtedly appeal to the very large audience of grown-up readers who will be fascinated and inspired by her daring adventure.
From the book jacket, Chatto and Windus London edition
Jane Juska speaking at Toronto's Ideacity conference 2007:
Listen to an audio interview with Jane (BBC's Woman's Hour 11/11/03)
Watch Charlie Rose and Jane in conversation (Charlie Rose 26/5/03)
Read extracts from A Round-Heeled Woman (Times Online 6/11/03)
Sex and the Senior Citizen (Salon.com – Sheerly Avni)
After 30 years of being single, this retired schoolteacher was ready to get it on (SF weekly.com – Lisa Hom)
Sex and the Single Senior (The New York Times – Alex Witchel)
Why make do with cocoa? (The Guardian – Katharine Whitehorn)
A Round-Heeled Woman by Jane Juska (The Guardian – John Crace)
Sex confessions of a senior citizen score a literary hit (The Observer – Edward Helmore)
Review: Memoir: A Round-heeled Woman by Jane Juska (The Times – Lynne Truss)
Hell, I'm 70. How do I get undressed in front of a man? Fast (The Times – Catherine O'Brien)
My first date in 42 years (The Daily Telegraph – Vicki Woods)
Review-a-day (Powell's books – Stephanie Zacharek)
Granny takes several trips (Spectator Book Club – Anne Chisholm)
Sex and the (older) single woman (The Independent – Julie Wheelwright)
Old lady, if you want the earth to move, take up gardening (The Independent – Virginia Ironside)
A Round-Heeled Woman (Jesse Kornbluth – The Huffington Post)
Buy the book