ABOUT THE BOOK
What happens when a 40-something feminist sociologist who studies gender and sexuality learns that her mother, a passive-aggressive and needy woman who hasn’t had a lover in decades, has started seeing men who want to be bound, whipped, and sexually dominated? What happens when that mother, shortly after diving into her newly discovered sexuality, develops one cancer that forces her to accept radical changes to her body and then another that forces her, and everyone around her, to confront her mortality? How do their ideas about themselves and each other change as they confront aging, illness, sexuality, and the inevitability of death? Read more…
PRAISE FOR BOUND: A DOMME, A DAUGHTER, AND AN END-OF-LIFE STORY
“Sex, death, and family are some of the hardest topics for any writer to take on. Elizabeth Wood gracefully and fearlessly explores all three in this moving memoir.”―Lux Alptraum, author of Faking it: Lies Women Tell About Sex―And the Truths They Reveal
EXCERPT: CHAPTER ONE
Not my cross to bear, I think with a wry smile as I stare into my mother’s small craft room at the object that dominates the cluttered space. Perhaps seven feet tall, it is shaped like an enormous black letter X standing on a shallow base, canted backward at a slight angle. If it were a person, it would be standing tall with feet planted wide and arms flung out, its face raised to the sky, exultant, powerful. This is not the image that would occur to most people who are familiar with such equipment, I’m sure. This is a St. Andrew’s Cross, a piece of bondage gear, and it bears witness to my mother’s power, strength, and willingness to defy convention. Yet it also evokes for me her frailties, weaknesses, and shame—the many crosses she’s turned to me to help her carry. Not my cross to bear? This time it’s a question, and I know the answer is yes, it will be in the end. Read more…
Told with courage, honesty, humor, warmth, and insight, Bound A Daughter, A Domme, and an End-of Life Story offers readers a front-row seat to the negotiations between a daughter, her unconventional mother and other family as they face the medical-emotional whiplash of terminal illness. Wood offers wisdom and perspective that is sure to help others as they straddle the painful space between what they want and the inevitability of loss. This book is filled with love and promises to be a wonderful companion for anyone faced with caregiving.―Virginia A. Simpson, Ph.D., FT, award-winning author of The Space Between: A Memoir of Mother-Daughter Love at the End of Life
Bound is a deeply honest, unflinching portrait of a daughter’s relationship with her mother at the end of life. In this affecting memoir, the intimacies of an aging woman’s lifestyle of kink and bondage become fascinating metaphors for hospital life, medical care and physical dependence during illness and dying. Bound is both a brilliant meditation on helplessness and power, and a stirring testament to the strength of bonds between people who care for each other.―Victoria Pitts-Taylor, Ph.D., Professor of Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Wesleyan University, and author of The Brain’s Body: Neuroscience and Corporeal Politics.
Elizabeth Wood puts a human face on our health care crisis. She offers a loving testimony to her mother – who had lived life exuberantly as an elder dominatrix – and an indictment of the way our healthcare system treats those least able to advocate for themselves.―Joan Price, author of several books about senior sex including the award-winning Naked at Our Age: Talking Out Loud about Senior Sex and the forthcoming Sex after Grief: Navigating Your Sexuality After Loss of Your Beloved. http://www.joanprice.com
In this fascinating exploration of a complex mother-daughter relationship, Elizabeth Wood comes to terms with her mother’s flaws and eccentricities in order to make peace with her impending death. Wood also shines a necessary spotlight on the myriad bureaucracies within our health care system which make navigating illness challenging and often dehumanizing. A smartly written, thought provoking read.―Heather Frimmer, MD, author of Bedside Manners
Bound explores the complexities of caregiving in the context of a unique mother-daughter relationship. This personal story triggers universal emotions and offers insights that will help you understand your own caregiving journey.―Iris Waichler, MSW, LCSW author of Role Reversal: How to Take Care of Yourself and Your Aging Parents
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