Review: “Torn Shapes of Desire” by Mary Anne Mohanraj

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torn shapes of desireTorn Shapes of Desire was originally published in paperback by Intangible Assets Manufacturing (March 31, 1997). That first edition was produced in protest of restrictive censorship laws that were being considered at the time, among which was The Communications Decency Act of 1996 (CDA). The CDA was the first notable attempt by the United States Congress to regulate pornographic material on the Internet. In 1997, in the landmark cyberlaw case of Reno v. ACLU, the United States Supreme Court struck the anti-indecency provisions of the Act.

Mary Anne Mohanraj was born in Sri Lanka and came to the United States as a toddler. Her classical, traditional parents did their best to raise their eldest daughter for the life they expected for her–the educated wife of a man she might meet only a couple of times before accepting him in an arranged marriage, but Mohanraj wanted a different life. While a student at the University of Chicago, a chance run-in on the early Internet with alt.sex.stories and rec.arts.erotica changed her destiny.

She found herself shocked, not by the graphic nature of the newsgroups but rather by the poor quality of the writing she found there!

Mohanraj believed she could write better erotica than she was reading. Upon receiving the praise and encouragement she had not experienced posting her non-erotic fiction on rec.arts.prose, she quickly built up a collection of short pieces of erotica.

In the Introduction to Torn Shapes of Desire, Mohanraj relates, “I write these stories as part of my own attempt to change the world. I write stories with strong consenting women, to remind people that strong women are sexy and that consent is crucial. I write stories with characters of various sexual orientations and genders, to spread a little awareness. I write stories dealing with taboo subjects. Mainly, I try to write stories with real people — people who love and hate and fear and sometimes have sex for all the wrong reasons; people who have lives and hopes and dreams beyond the immediate sex act. I’m trying to shape a healthier world…”

Torn Shapes of Desire contains forty of Mary Anne Mohanraj’s best Internet Erotica short stories and poems.

Other authors: Dale L. Larson (Photographer), Tracy Lee