Review of Pearl Diver

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I'd like to give my little piece of advice for the day and urge you all to read the story "Pearl Diver" by Cecilia Tan in the new anthology Best American Erotica 1996 (edited by Susie Bright).

This is one of the finest erotic-themed works I have ever read, and in terms of imagery and skill with the language ranks among the best short stories (whether erotic or not) that I have ever read (of its size, anyway).

For those of you who don't remember, Cecilia Tan is the person who taught the SHS workshop in erotic writing a little while ago.

To get a sense of just how much Cecilia Tan has improved as a writer, read "Pearl Diver" back to back with "Telepaths Don't Need Safewords" (which is published in the new SM Visions anthology from Circlet Press). The difference is startling. Anyway, suffice it to say that I'm going to look for Cecilia's name in the table of contents of any new erotica anthologies that come along. This story made that much of an impression.

I'm not confident that I can summarize it or review it well, so I'm not going to try. It's only a few pages long, so it's not as if reading it is a big time investment.

And it's also not as if your money would be wasted on the anthology it's contained in. Best American Erotica 1996 probably contains in one volume the highest-quality selection of literary erotica I have ever run across in one book. Keep in mind that not all of it is masturbation material (for that, get "An English Education" :) ), but some of it is, and the stuff that isn't does contain erotic themes and stands to be considered just as literature.

It also contains a story of stunning inventiveness by Robert Owen Butler, who won the Pulitzer Prize in 1993.

In summary, get "Pearl Diver" and this book that it's contained in.

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