Carol Lynn Mithers

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A Walk on the Wild Side

In 1983, when I first became fascinated with Los Angeles history, reading Carey McWilliams led me to John Fante. “I can think of only four novels that suggest what Southern California is really like,” McWilliams wrote in the brilliant Southern California: An Island on the Land. I’d already read (and......
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Cinéma Moralité

AT THE CULVER HIGH OF MY YOUTH, SOPHOMORES Approached driver-education class with fear and dread. Not of getting behind the wheel, which to Southern California kids felt as natural as breathing; not of the intellectual rigors of the course, which was run by shop teachers. What freaked us were tales......
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Art by Alex MunnTHE BOOK OF THE PENIS WAS WRITTEN FOR FANS of that singular organ. "Some women say they don't like penises, preferring buttocks and shoulders," observes author Maggie Paley in her introduction. "But really, what good is a shoulder going to do you?" What follows is an eclectic,......
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Very Good Vibrations

To those of us still stunned by last summer’s sorry sexual spectacle, there’s some comfort to be found in looking to the past. As three recent books make clear, the struggle to define, control, judge and give meaning to human sexuality — arguably our most powerful drive — has occupied......
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To Di For

Not all of us cried for Lady Di. Call me heartless, but I've never understood why a pretty, jet-setting, once-royal millionaire with a filthy-rich playboy fiance was supposed to make me care. Even if she had been a bulimic with low self-esteem and a crappy marriage. Okay, I'm a mother,......
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Hot Love

THE STORY OF MARY MacLANE & OTHER WRITINGS By MARY MacLANE Edited and introduced by Penelope Rosemont Charles H. Kerr Publishing Co. 217 pages$15 softcover THE EDGE OF THE BED: How Dirty Pictures Changed My Life By LISA PALAC Little, Brown and Co. 214 pages $23 hardcover Every woman who......
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