The acclaimed novel of a Jewish gay Bear’s lusty adventures in Amsterdam — now back in print!
The Limits of Pleasure
A novel by Daniel M. Jaffe
On Chanukah Eve, December 1, 2010, Bear Bones Books, the “hairy arm” of GLBTIQ publisher Lethe Press, will proudly publish its first novel, a reprint of author Daniel M. Jaffe’s acclaimed book, The Limits of Pleasure.
With great humor and sensitivity, The Limits of Pleasure follows Dave Miller, a sexy forty-year-old Bearish man living in Boston, as he survives an escalating skirmish to reconcile his Jewish and gay identities.
A year after the death of his Holocaust-surviving grandmother, Dave leaves Boston for Amsterdam, the home of Anne Frank, whom his Grandma revered. Dave, feeling undeserving to confront the suffering that Grandma endured in the concentration camps, cannot bring himself to visit Anne Frank’s house.
Angry with himself and the world, Dave repeatedly seeks out risky erotic trysts that mix sacred ritual with profane hedonism, culminating with a sexual epiphany that arrives the night before Chanukah. When he meets Alexander, a sexually reserved Dutchman of Indonesian heritage with identity conflicts of his own, the relationship shakes both men’s lives to their core.
Praise for Daniel M. Jaffe’s The Limits of Pleasure
“I can only testify to the riveting effect this book has had on me . . . truly groundbreaking . . . a brilliant author. Let the academics prattle on about ‘the canon.’ The canon itself quakes, shudders, and then invites the likes of The Limits of Pleasure in, as it so emphatically must. Daniel Jaffe has done a great thing: made a fresh pilgrimage to the age-old human well, where sex and death, good-hearted secularism and the promptings of an ambiguous Higher Power, revolutionism and blood fealty all roil the pond from surface to sediment.” — Sydney Lea, Pulitzer Prize Finalist author of Pursuit of a Wound; Founding Editor of New England Review
“The Limits of Pleasure is a disturbing and evocative combination of gay erotica and Holocaust memoir. . . . Readers are likely to find The Limits of Pleasure interesting and controversial.” — The Santa Barbara Independent
“His ruminations sketch out his relationship to family, religion, sexuality, and history at large. Bawdy eroticism is juxtaposed with sentimentality, depravity interlaced with piety, and the sacred wedded to the profane in this acrid comedy. . . . masterfully written . . . an entertaining and salient piece. Jaffe is unquestionably a gifted writer with much to say in a voice that is rarely heard.” — XFactor
“Jaffe accurately covers all the bases of human emotion within his narrative, exploring what it means to survive. Like the central character’s experiences, this debut novel will enhance the reader’s own path to self-discovery.” — Paul J. Willis, Unzipped
“The Limits of Pleasure is an extremely intelligent and entertaining view into one man’s multi-faceted and perverse psyche.” — The Liberty Press (Kansas)
“Dave Miller, the main character in Jaffe’s novel The Limits of Pleasure, is torn between the moral obligations imposed on him by his late grandmother, a Holocaust survivor, and his desires as a gay man. By daringly juxtaposing sacred and erotic imageries, the novel presents a courageous portrait of a middle-aged man who slowly learns to define his Jewish identity on his own terms. Dave’s capacity to find hope in the middle of conflict is a quality that also defines Jaffe’s writing as a whole.” — The Greenwood Encyclopedia of Multiethnic American Literature
“The Limits of Pleasure is as seamless as anything Christopher Isherwood, Toni Morrison, or Chaim Potok … might write, a work where the visionary sits at the table with the mundane, where the divine sleeps in the same bed as the profane. . . . I finished the novel feeling breathless.” — David May, author, Madrugada
“The Limits of Pleasure is a true page-turner, an invigorating exploration of the ways in which the past informs our present, and desire — both for the spirit and for the flesh—shapes our identity. Whether cruising for sex or communing with the spirits of his past, Jaffe’s hero reminds us that the sometimes perilous path to self-discovery is a journey we do not, and cannot, make alone. Tremendously wise, hilariously funny, and supremely sexy, Jaffe’s big-hearted novel affirms our faith in the power of the spirit, the glory of the flesh, to make us more fully human. A thoughtful, deeply satisfying novel.” — Karl Woelz, co-editor, Men on Men 2000
“Readers, grab hold of your joysticks (pun absolutely intended): Daniel Jaffe’s Dave will take you on an unforgettable ride. What are the limits of pleasure, the limits of suffering, the limits of language? Hallucinatory, blasphemous, shamelessly erotic, unflinching, by turns wrenching and wildly comic, Jaffe’s narrative stops at nothing in its exploration of what it means to be homosexual, Jewish, human; to survive. This is high-stakes, extreme fiction, whose rewards are as great as the risks it embraces. Just as Jaffe’s tormented, irrepressible and oddly endearing hero earns the ‘redemption of risk,’ so does his brilliantly fearless creator.” — Ellen Lesser, author, The Blue Streak and The Shoplifter’s Apprentice
“We’ve heard of survivors’ guilt, but Daniel Jaffe brings us a visceral understanding of its less understood concomitant, survivors’ rage, in this extraordinarily fearless novel. His prose moves into the minds and cuts close to the bone of his characters as he explores the conflicted sites of contemporary identity. His novel walks mysterious paths to redemption and illuminates the paradox by which one must hold back to survive but risk all to live.” — Diane Lefer, author, Very Much Like Desire, and California Transit
The Limits of Pleasure
A novel by Daniel M. Jaffe
Bear Bones Books / Lethe Press
Paperback, 5.5 x 8.5″, 208 pp. • $15.00
Release date: December 1, 2010
ISBN: 1-59021-196-0 • 978-1-59021-196-0
Categories: Gay / Bi Male Fiction • Distributed by: ASP, Baker & Taylor, Ingram
Also available for Kindle, iBook, and all electronic-book formats.
About Daniel M. Jaffe
Daniel M. Jaffe is a prize-winning fiction writer whose short stories and personal essays have appeared in dozens of anthologies and literary journals in nine countries. He compiled and edited With Signs and Wonders: An International Anthology of Jewish Fabulist Fiction (Invisible Cities Press), translated Here Comes the Messiah! (Zephyr Press), a Russian-Israeli novel by Dina Rubina, and most recently came out with the fiction chapbook, One-Foot Lover (Seven Kitchens Press). He has been profiled in The Greenwood Encyclopedia of Multiethnic American Literature, and holds degrees from Princeton University (A.B.), Harvard Law School (J.D.), and Vermont College (M.F.A.). He teaches in the UCLA Extension Writers’ Program.