Dick for a Day: What Would You Do If You Had One?

Dick for a Day: What Would You Do If You Had One?

by Fiona Giles
     
 

Not since Kafka's Gregor Samsa awoke to discover that he'd turned into a cockroach has literature addressed such a traumatic transformation. In order to compile Dick for a Day, scholar and feminist Fiona Giles approached hundreds of well-known writers, poets, artists, actresses, and academics and asked them to express what they might feel if they abruptly

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Overview

Not since Kafka's Gregor Samsa awoke to discover that he'd turned into a cockroach has literature addressed such a traumatic transformation. In order to compile Dick for a Day, scholar and feminist Fiona Giles approached hundreds of well-known writers, poets, artists, actresses, and academics and asked them to express what they might feel if they abruptly found themselves genitally altered.

From Terry McMillan to Jennifer Blowdryer, from Patricia Cornwell to Linda Sexton Gray, we find unexpected answers: hygienic, erotic, metaphysical, and even spiritual. By turns playful and sociologically profound, Dick for a Day is a milestone in sophisticated humor and feminist literature.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Giles plays out a smart premise-ask various famous and less-famous women what they would do if endowed with male genitals for 24 hours-and gets surprisingly flaccid results. There are some funny one-liners (Terry McMillan: "First of all, I'd want to have a big one-and I'd show everybody"). But most of the humor here comes not from inventive use of the equipment but from quirky takes on the question. In a hilarious poem, Senator Sin imagines that by calling the number "1-800-YOR-DICK" she participates in a study in which women are given penises and then report the results (with the poignant coda, "A few/ never returned/ their dicks,/ moved away/ from family/ and friends,/ and are assumed/ to be passing/ as men."). Lisa Hill goes further and creates a world where women routinely have "the op" in order to become hermaphrodites. Rather than turning more macho, these newly endowed women head off to penis parlors where they subject their penises to painful waxing and other beauty treatments. Entries with a sexual angle, like Germaine Greer's plan to have sex with herself if length permits, are less successful and become pedestrian because there are so many of them. Like Janyce Stefan-Cole, many of the women writing here imagine that merely possessing male genitals would make them unable to resist sexual urges for women ("They were beautiful; even the plain ones held hope and destiny between their legs."). Others, however, do not imagine the genitals attached to their bodies at all, but akin to animated sex toys. Mary Mackey, for example, conjures up a penis that "hovered over me, still wearing his cunning little black leather chaps." Perhaps the unimaginative results of this volume indicate that women really do spend as little time thinking about the thing as they claim. (Feb.)
Library Journal
Don't let the outrageous title fool you. This collection of humorous feminist essays boasts contributors like Patricia Cornwell, Terry Macmillan, and Germaine Greer.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780679773535
Publisher:
Random House Publishing Group
Publication date:
02/28/1997
Pages:
304
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.75(d)

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Meet the Author

Fiona Giles was born and raised in Australia and educated at Oxford, where she specialized in nineteenth-century literature. She lives in New York City with her husband.

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