In A Part of the Heart Can’t Be Eaten, award-winning author, sex educator, filmmaker, and podcast host Tristan Taormino shares her coming-of-age story, revealing how her radical sexuality and unconventional career grew out of an extraordinary queer father-daughter relationship. Raised by a hard-working single mother on Long Island, Tristan got her sex ed from the 1980s TV show Solid Gold and The Joy of Sex. She spent summers at drag shows in Provincetown with her father, Bill, who had come out as gay in the mid-1970s. Her sexual identity bloomed during her college years at Wesleyan University, where she discovered her desire for butches and kinky sex.
Tristan’s world began to fall apart when her dad was diagnosed with AIDS. After a series of devastating events, she moved to the messy, glorious world of 1990s New York City. In the midst of grief and depression, she helped change queer sexual subculture with her zine Pucker Up, her infamous The Village Voice column, and her editorship of legendary lesbian porn magazine On Our Backs. After the publication of her first book, The Ultimate Guide to Anal Sex for Women, Tristan followed her own path that marked the beginning of her work as a trailblazing feminist pornographer.
After a lifetime of outrageous adventures, Tristan reflects on the bonds, loss, and mental-health struggles that shaped her. She weaves together history from her father’s unpublished memoir, exploring the surprising ways their personal patterns converge and diverge. Bracingly emotional and erotically charged, A Part of the Heart Can’t Be Eaten reveals the transformative power of queer pleasure and defiance.
“How fortunate we are to have such a passionate and skillful writer who has chosen to share with us her many wonderful and varied romantic relationships and sexual encounters, and the wisdom she’s accrued in the process. This is such a fun read!” — Kate Bornstein, author of Gender Outlaw: On Men, Women, and the Rest of Us
“Tristan Taormino’s memoir is unabashedly, in-your-face, all-caps QUEER in the best way humanly possible. A Part of the Heart Can’t Be Eaten is honest, vulnerable, wise, and at parts, heartbreaking. But there is strength amidst the heartbreak, and Taormino’s message of queer acceptance and living without shame always shines through.” — Zachary Zane, author of Boyslut: A Memoir and Manifesto