About The Book
Meeting the Master is an elegantly crafted collection exploring the pleasures and rituals of dominance and submission. In these resonant, darkly erotic stories, a young girl dreams of submitting to a boy who refuses to control her. An ex-convict is so accustomed to serving his cellmate that he cannot adjust to freedom. A professional dominatrix is beaten at her own game by a psychiatrist. And a student lies his way into the home of an army recruiter to become his houseboy. Elissa Wald’s precise and startling voice reveals a penetrating wisdom that animates these lives. Meeting the Master is a provocative collection that is a pleasure to read.
“Ruby and the Bull”
‘missing the Boat”
“The Illustrating Man”
“Elissa Wald, a veteran of what vanilla reviewers call “the S/M scene,” brings new meaning to the term “literary submission.”. . . If you’re looking for a good erotic read, cuff yourself to this book. And don’t unlock the cuffs until you’re told.” –Time Out New York
“Elissa Wald is a brave, disturbing new voice in American fiction. She works all the margins of the wild side, and brings us news from those frontiers that very few writers have dared approach. This book is marvelous.” –Pat Conroy
“This is a rare object, a well-written book of S&M fiction. Elissa Wald’s style is both delicate and tough, her images haunting. Some of the characters you’ll encounter in Meeting the Master will become a permanent part of your own imaginary erotic cabaret.” –Pat Califia
“Psychologically complex. . . Wald clearly knows her varied characters, whom she portrays in a sympathetic yet unsparing light.” –Publishers Weekly
“Remarkable and fascinating . . . Wald writes with a simplicity and frankness that are unusual but perfectly suited to her subject.” –Kirkus Reviews
“For years, when asked what it is that I write about, I have responded–by turns flippant, apologetic, and in-your-face – “S&M.” What this answer means, though, has only gotten more difficult to clarify. The range and complexity of S&M involvement is as infinite as human sexuality itself. Even the letters S and M represent many different concepts to different people. As the theme of this book, sadomasochism is probably a misnomer. Here, “S&M” would much more readily stand for “slavery and mastery,” not only where it is consciously expressed in bedroom games, but where I see it sublimated and (barely) veiled nearly everywhere I look.
“Meeting the Master, therefore, isn’t an easy book to categorize. It is wholly erotic–at least to me–but only occasionally very graphic. It is straight, gay, and everything in between. It depicts a dark and little-understood area of sexuality, often outside of what we recognize as a sexual context.
“Like anything else that resists a ready pigeonhole, this book will disturb and offend some people, but it is my hope that it will serve many others. Those who, like me, have a perpetual craving for material on this topic; who felt the pull early on, maybe even from early childhood; who have purchased even the most dismal pornography if it promised some kind of a “fix” in this area; who have felt intense frustration at the dearth of quality literature that addresses it in any depth.
“It is the aim of this book to sate some of that particular hunger; to explore S&M beyond the stereotypes of leather, whips, and chains; to ask questions and provoke thought; to arouse and entertain.
“It is my attempt to tell some of my own truth. I hope you enjoy it.”