Literary Salon: Jane Juska

Monday, February 4, 2008

Jane Juska, Author of A Round Heeled Woman and Unaccompanied Women

Born in 1933, Jane Juska is an old person but a new writer. Her first book, A Round-Heeled Woman, was published in 2003, followed in 2006 by Unaccompanied Women. Before that, she taught English for forty years in high school, college, and prison. Her work has appeared in magazines and anthologies. She is working on a novel. She lives in Berkeley, California.

“Round-heeled” is an old-fashioned label for a woman who is promiscuous—someone who nowadays might be called “easy.” It’s a surprising way for an English teacher with a passion for Trollope to describe herself in the title of the memoir which followed after she placed a personal ad in the New York Review of Books: “Before I turn 67—next March—I would like to have a lot of sex with a man I like. If you want to talk first, Trollope works for me.”

The ad worked, a book came out of experience (A Round-Heeled Woman) and Juska was reborn.

Unaccompanied Women is about women Juska met on her book-tour; it is about what happened in her own life; it is about trying to find a home. Her adventures continue.