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The Limits of Pleasure — now back in print (and Kindle)!

The Limits of Pleasure, by Daniel M. Jaffe

Bear Bones Books is pleased to announce the release of Daniel M. Jaffe’s novel, The Limits of Pleasure, available now in softcover from Amazon and in an e-reader edition on Kindle.

The Limits of Pleasure follows Dave Miller, a forty-year-old bearish gay man, living in Boston in 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 at himself and the world, Dave repeatedly seeks out erotic encounters that mix sacred ritual with profane hedonism. Then he meets Alexander, a sexually reserved Dutchman of Indonesian heritage, who has identity conflicts of his own. The relationship shakes both men’s lives to their core.

Limitless Praise for The Limits of Pleasure

“I can only testify to the riveting effect this book has had on me . . . truly groundbreaking  . . .  a brilliant author. 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 Ghost Pain;  Founding Editor of New England Review

“Masterfully written  . . .  entertaining and salient.     — XFactor

“A disturbing and evocative combination of gay erotica and Holocaust memoir. . . . interesting and controversial.”   — The Santa Barbara Independent

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

“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 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. The sexual self is integrated into the spiritual self, the Jewish into the queer, and as the disparate parts of the protagonist fragment they are just as quickly reassembled into one of the most complete, annoying and lovable characters in the history of our literature, one who is familiar and believable, endearing but frustrating, and ultimately too human for words…. I finished the novel feeling breathless.” —DAVID MAY, author of Madrugada: A Cycle of Erotic Fictions

“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, The Limits of Pleasure reminds us that, despite the various limits placed upon our spiritual and sexual identities, we must strive—in the words of E.M. Forster—to ‘only connect.’” —KARL WOELZ, co-editor of 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 of 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 of the story collections Very Much Like Desire, The Circles I Move In, and the award-winning California Transit

Daniel M. Jaffe.
Author photograph by Leo Cabranes-Grant

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 several countries and languages. He is the author of the novel, Yeled Tov; the novel-in-stories, The Genealogy of Understanding; and the collection, Jewish Gentle and Other Stories of Gay-Jewish Living.

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