As a Happy Birthday to our One & Only, we remember last spring’s tournament of literary sex writing, hosted by LitHub, in which Giovanni’s Room was voted best erotic passage. “The judges said the passage was chosen “almost unanimously.”
ALMOST? we ask. Okay, he was up against Jeanette Winterton, DH Lawrence and Philip Roth.
To remember it so clearly, so painfully tonight tells me that I have never for an instant truly forgotten it. I feel in myself now a faint, a dreadful stirring of what so overwhelmingly stirred in me then, great thirsty heat, and trembling, and tenderness so painful I thought my heart would burst. But out of this astounding, intolerable pain came joy; we gave each other joy that night. It seemed, then, that a lifetime would not be long enough for me to act with Joey the act of love.
Happy birthday, baby.