A wonderful collection that serves also a reminder of just how far mainstream erotica has drifted in the past two decades. First published in 1993, when you would have to search high and wide for the very word “lesbian” in the average bookstore, Daughters of Darkness is an anthology in the traditional sense of the word. The bulk of the ten tales within span over a decade of writing, ranging from magazine stories and novel excerpts dating back to 1981, while the heart of the book is J Sheridan LeFanu’s classic “Carmilla,” first published a century before that.
This is a literary collection, then, not a sexual one. It is your imagination, and your ability to read between the lines that stirs the emotions; qualities that many commentators argue are sadly lacking from the explicit squelch-by-squelch descriptions found in more modern storytelling. And it’s true, there is a beauty to leaving the lovers just as the candles are lit, then rejoining them as the events of the night are consigned to sometimes shameful memory; passion spent can, in good literature, be just as arousing as passion inflamed, after all.
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