So What Are You Reading?

Reviews of Books.

Sunday, February 09, 2014

Helen and Desire

Helen and Desire by Alexander Trocchi
While living in Paris in the 1950s Alexander Trocchi was commissioned by Maurice Girodias, publisher of Olympia Press, to write "dirty books." Trocchi wrote Helen and Desire in one week in December 1953 and it was published under the pen name Frances Lengel. The book is the diary of Helen, daughter of a fishing boat captain in a rural village in Northwest Australia, who plans to use her natural enjoyment of sex to have adventures and travel the world. Determined to flout convention and chronicle her life, Helen writes of her loss of innocence on the eve of her 18th birthday, her use of men and their use of her, and her travels to Sydney, Singapore, India, France, and finally the deserts of North Africa. It is here that two officers of the French Foreign Legion who find Helen's journal make it public.

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