by Maureen Dowd
WHEN I was 14, I sneaked into the empty bedroom of my scholarly older brother to poke around in his bookcase. Tucked behind his law school tomes and Winston Churchill memoirs, I found the “Story of O.”
I was quickly submerged in the submissive: masks, chains, brands, whips, blindfolds, piercings.
In the classic bondage novel written in 1954 by the French author Anne Desclos under the name Pauline Réage, a beautiful, young fashion photographer agrees to be the slave of a powerful master who turns her into “a mannequin of perversion,” as The Times’s 1966 review said.
Even skimming, the book was too scary for me, so I stuck it back in its hidden spot and scampered away.
Now comes the story of E, a London writer named Erika whose pseudonym is E L James. The plump, happily married 40-something mother and former television producer seems like “a normal lady,” as one shocked Hollywood agent put it. ...
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