I Have Devoted My Life to the Clitoris
by Elizabeth Hall

2017 Lambda Literary Award Finalist
Small Press Distribution Bestseller

Essay. 98 pages. Paperback. 2016.

Cover art by Kenyatta A.C. Hinkle, courtesy of the Artist and Jenkins Johnson Gallery.

Elizabeth Hall began writing I Have Devoted My Life to the Clitoris in the summer of 2010 after reading Thomas Laqueur’s Making Sex. She was particularly struck by Laqueur’s bold assertion: “More words have been shed, I suspect, about the clitoris, than about any other organ, or at least, any organ its size.” How was it possible that Hall had been reading compulsively for years and never once stumbled upon this trove of prose devoted to the clit? If Lacquer’s claim was correct, where were all these “words”? And more: what did size have to do with it? Hall set out to find all that had been written about the clit past and present. As she soon discovered, the history of the clitoris is no ordinary tale; rather, its history is marked by the act of forgetting.

I Have Devoted My Life to the Clitoris
by Elizabeth Hall

2017 Lambda Literary Award Finalist
Small Press Distribution Bestseller

Essay. 98 pages. Paperback. 2016.

Cover art by Kenyatta A.C. Hinkle, courtesy of the Artist and Jenkins Johnson Gallery.

Elizabeth Hall began writing I Have Devoted My Life to the Clitoris in the summer of 2010 after reading Thomas Laqueur’s Making Sex. She was particularly struck by Laqueur’s bold assertion: “More words have been shed, I suspect, about the clitoris, than about any other organ, or at least, any organ its size.” How was it possible that Hall had been reading compulsively for years and never once stumbled upon this trove of prose devoted to the clit? If Lacquer’s claim was correct, where were all these “words”? And more: what did size have to do with it? Hall set out to find all that had been written about the clit past and present. As she soon discovered, the history of the clitoris is no ordinary tale; rather, its history is marked by the act of forgetting.

“Marvelously researched and sculpted…. Bulleted points rat-tat-tatting the patriarchy, strobing with pleasure” (Dodie Bellamy). “Freud, terra cotta cunts, hyenas, anatomists, and Acker, mixed with a certain slant of light on a windowsill and a leg thrown open invite us… Bawdy and beautiful” (Wendy C. Ortiz). “Gorgeous little book about a gorgeous little organ… Mines discourses as varied as sexology, plastic surgery, literature and feminism to produce an eye-opening compendium…. The ‘tender button’ finally gets its due” (Janet Sarbanes). “God this book is glorious…. You will learn and laugh and wonder why it took you so long to find this book” (Suzanne Scanlon). “An orgy of information…. At once sexy and scientifically compelling … delivering in small bites an investigation of the clit that is simultaneously a meditation on the myriad ways in which smallness hides power” (Allie Rowbottom, The Rumpus). “I promise, you need to read this book…. Reading the book feels like coming….” (Rachel Charlene Lewis, Maudlin House). “Hall does this without the esoteric, overly-academic tone usually associated with these topics…. After all, it’s a book about fucking, and coming. It’s fun to read….” (Anne Marie Wirth Cauchon, Full Stop). “Let yourself yelp while reading…. Yeah, this is that kind of book” (Claudia Cortese, Muzzle).

“Marvelously researched and sculpted…. Bulleted points rat-tat-tatting the patriarchy, strobing with pleasure” (Dodie Bellamy). “Freud, terra cotta cunts, hyenas, anatomists, and Acker, mixed with a certain slant of light on a windowsill and a leg thrown open invite us… Bawdy and beautiful” (Wendy C. Ortiz). “Gorgeous little book about a gorgeous little organ… Mines discourses as varied as sexology, plastic surgery, literature and feminism to produce an eye-opening compendium…. The ‘tender button’ finally gets its due” (Janet Sarbanes). “God this book is glorious…. You will learn and laugh and wonder why it took you so long to find this book” (Suzanne Scanlon). “An orgy of information…. At once sexy and scientifically compelling … delivering in small bites an investigation of the clit that is simultaneously a meditation on the myriad ways in which smallness hides power” (Allie Rowbottom, The Rumpus). “I promise, you need to read this book…. Reading the book feels like coming….” (Rachel Charlene Lewis, Maudlin House). “Hall does this without the esoteric, overly-academic tone usually associated with these topics…. After all, it’s a book about fucking, and coming. It’s fun to read….” (Anne Marie Wirth Cauchon, Full Stop). “Let yourself yelp while reading…. Yeah, this is that kind of book” (Claudia Cortese, Muzzle).

About the Author

Elizabeth Hall is the author of the book-length essay, I Have Devoted My Life to the Clitoris (Tarpaulin Sky Press, 2016). She lives on a crumbling bluff in San Pedro, California, is the author of the chapbook Two Essays (eohippus labs), and plays bass in the band Pine Family.

About the Artist

Kenyatta A.C. Hinkle is an award winning interdisciplinary visual artist, writer and performer. Her practice fluctuates between collaborative projects with alternative spaces to projects that are intimate and based upon private experiences in relationship to historical events and contexts. Her artwork and experimental writing has been exhibited at The Studio Museum in Harlem, Project Row Houses, The Hammer Museum and The Museum of Art at The University of New Hampshire. Hinkle’s work has been reviewed by the Los Angeles Times, LA Weekly, Artforum, The Huffington Post, The Washington Post and The New York Times.

About the Author

Elizabeth Hall is the author of the book-length essay, I Have Devoted My Life to the Clitoris (Tarpaulin Sky Press, 2016). She lives on a crumbling bluff in San Pedro, California, is the author of the chapbook Two Essays (eohippus labs), and plays bass in the band Pine Family.

About the Artist

Kenyatta A.C. Hinkle is an award winning interdisciplinary visual artist, writer and performer. Her practice fluctuates between collaborative projects with alternative spaces to projects that are intimate and based upon private experiences in relationship to historical events and contexts. Her artwork and experimental writing has been exhibited at The Studio Museum in Harlem, Project Row Houses, The Hammer Museum and The Museum of Art at The University of New Hampshire. Hinkle’s work has been reviewed by the Los Angeles Times, LA Weekly, Artforum, The Huffington Post, The Washington Post and The New York Times.

Readings
&
Events

(reverse chronology)

14 January 2019: Denver, CO
Rebecca Brown
University of Denver

14 December 2018: Seattle, WA
Rebecca Brown w/ Mark Petterson, Suzanne Morrison & Fr. John Whitney
7pm @ St Joseph Church Parish Center
723 18th Ave E

15 November 2018: Ft. Collins, CO
Writer’s Harvest Reading
with Rebecca Brown
Colorado State U

27 October 2018: Portland, OR
Rebecca Brown w/ Kevin Sampsell
7pm @ Mother Foucault Books
523 East Morrison St,

25 October 2018: Valencia, CA
Rebecca Brown
CalArts

15 October 2018: Seattle, WA
Rebecca Brown w/ Jennifer Borges Foster
7pm @ Elliot Bay Bookstore
1521 10th Ave

13 October 2018: Seattle, WA
Pistil Books 25 year Anniversary Party and Reading
Rebecca Brown w/ Stacey Levine
(RSVP pistilbooksonline@gmail.com for time & place)

11 October 2018: Seattle, WA
Seattle Lit Crawl
w/Rebecca Brown, Richard Chiem, and JM Miller
(time & place TBD)

Elizabeth Hall in the Media

JOIN US at AWP 2017

Tarpaulin Sky Press joins Action Books, Calamari Archive, and Per Second Press. Featuring Aaron Apps, Amy King, Nat Baldwin, Claire Donato, Johannes Goransson, Elizabeth Hall, Brandon Hobson, Valerie Hsiung, Robert Lopez, Vi Khi Nao, Julie Reverb, Joanna Ruocco, and Abe Smith.

Elizabeth Hall’s “I Have Devoted My Life to the Clitoris” (TS 2016) reviewed at Full Stop

"Hall can evoke in her reader’s mind questions about many things including: the limits and potentials of language, the indeterminacy and implications of sexual difference, and the culturally relative, socially constructed and situated nature of science and ethics. But Hall does this without the esoteric, overly-academic tone usually associated with these topics.... After all, it’s a book about fucking, and coming. It’s fun to read."

TS author Elizabeth Hall interviewed at Brooklyn Magazine

Interviews, even with the most amazing people, are still only as good as the interviewer. At Brooklyn Magazine, we all get lucky with the fab Marian Ryan, who is right at home with Elizabeth Hall and her debut, I Have Devoted My Life to the Clitoris (TS Press, 2016).

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Elizabeth Hall in the Media

JOIN US at AWP 2017

Tarpaulin Sky Press joins Action Books, Calamari Archive, and Per Second Press. Featuring Aaron Apps, Amy King, Nat Baldwin, Claire Donato, Johannes Goransson, Elizabeth Hall, Brandon Hobson, Valerie Hsiung, Robert Lopez, Vi Khi Nao, Julie Reverb, Joanna Ruocco, and Abe Smith.

Elizabeth Hall’s “I Have Devoted My Life to the Clitoris” (TS 2016) reviewed at Full Stop

"Hall can evoke in her reader’s mind questions about many things including: the limits and potentials of language, the indeterminacy and implications of sexual difference, and the culturally relative, socially constructed and situated nature of science and ethics. But Hall does this without the esoteric, overly-academic tone usually associated with these topics.... After all, it’s a book about fucking, and coming. It’s fun to read."

TS author Elizabeth Hall interviewed at Brooklyn Magazine

Interviews, even with the most amazing people, are still only as good as the interviewer. At Brooklyn Magazine, we all get lucky with the fab Marian Ryan, who is right at home with Elizabeth Hall and her debut, I Have Devoted My Life to the Clitoris (TS Press, 2016).

Readings
&
Events

(reverse chronology)

14 January 2019: Denver, CO
Rebecca Brown
University of Denver

14 December 2018: Seattle, WA
Rebecca Brown w/ Mark Petterson, Suzanne Morrison & Fr. John Whitney
7pm @ St Joseph Church Parish Center
723 18th Ave E

15 November 2018: Ft. Collins, CO
Writer’s Harvest Reading
with Rebecca Brown
Colorado State U

27 October 2018: Portland, OR
Rebecca Brown w/ Kevin Sampsell
7pm @ Mother Foucault Books
523 East Morrison St,

25 October 2018: Valencia, CA
Rebecca Brown
CalArts

15 October 2018: Seattle, WA
Rebecca Brown w/ Jennifer Borges Foster
7pm @ Elliot Bay Bookstore
1521 10th Ave

13 October 2018: Seattle, WA
Pistil Books 25 year Anniversary Party and Reading
Rebecca Brown w/ Stacey Levine
(RSVP pistilbooksonline@gmail.com for time & place)

11 October 2018: Seattle, WA
Seattle Lit Crawl
w/Rebecca Brown, Richard Chiem, and JM Miller
(time & place TBD)