"After reading this novel, I had an overwhelming urge to sleep with the author."
"This alluring green book is a triumph in the art of literature — inventive, seductive, compelling, and nearly impossible to put down at all. Rarely do I read with such dedication, but Trine Erotic required my undivided attention, and got it. True literary feats are too rare these days, and Alice Andrews reminds us all that literature can, indeed, still matter, surprise, and in places, astound."
- Christopher Porpora, poet and author of In Mine Eyes and Becoming
"An excellent novel concerning sex and romance, with explicit evolutionary and behavioral science themes....If you like novels, sex, and evolutionary psychology, you should enjoy this...."
- From evolutionary psychologist Geoffrey Miller's "Psychology of Human Sexuality" syllabus. Miller is the author of The Mating Mind: How Sexual Choice Shaped the Evolution of Human Nature; and forthcoming Faking Fitness: The Evolutionary Origins of Consumer Behavior
"An Ariel View"by Helen Zimmerman
Spring 2002, Vol.4, issue 5
There is connectedness everywhere. Between numbers and nature, between men and women, between writers and readers. Nowhere is this more evident than in Alice Andrews' debut novel, Trine Erotic. This book challenges the mind, forces you to look into two mirrors at once, touches on desire, seduction (or anti-seduction, depends on how you look at it), philosophy, spirituality, politics, fate, and memes. Yes, memes. You know, the cultural equivalent of genes. Through the characters she sensitively and playfully creates, Ms. Andrews lays out her thoughts on our culture, art, being female, love, and much more. The important thing is not to let her strategy intimidate you. Rather, let it wash over you in the clever shower of words that is. After all, do the words belong to the writer or the reader? This is a very provocative work, and to think she lives right in our own back yard...
“I've sought in vain for any autobiographies written from an EP perspective. The closest I have come in my quest is Alice Andrews's EP novel of love, Trine Erotic, which I found to be well-informed, intriguing in its structure, and refreshingly honest in its approach to the messy matters of love, sex and affection."
-Michael LaTorra, College Faculty of English at New Mexico State University; author of A Warrior Blends with Life: A Modern Tao; President, Zen Center of Las Cruces
"Trine Erotic is a beguiling—not to say seductive!—book, and delightfully original in its break with traditional novelistic psychology. I know a few very intellectually creative women, but it's good to hear their inner voice articulated with such brio. Indeed, I wish modern novels could get into the mind of a really brilliant man as well as Shakespeare did in Hamlet. I see cleverness in a lot of contemporary fictional characters, but not true originality."
-Frederick Turner; Professor of Literature and Science at the University of Texas at Dallas, author of many books, including: Shakespeare and the Nature of Time; Between Two Lives; Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet; The Return; The Garden; The New World; Natural Classicism: Essays on Literature and Science; Genesis; Rebirth of Value: Meditations on Beauty, Ecology, Religion and Education; Tempest, Flute, and Oz: Essays on the Future; Beauty: The Value of Values; The Culture of Hope: A New Birth of the Classical Spirit; and Biopoetics.
More on Fred here.
"Her people talk the way you wish your friends talked—-always, always analyzing, always full of fertile disagreements, seminal interpretations, high-flown, new-age, old-fashioned palaver. She knows that everything—-and love above all—grows out of how we talk. That is what's so surprising, lively, in this novel—the combat of non-stop lucidities in which we have to make our own silence of understanding."
"Trine Erotic is a beautiful structure of nested narratives. Reading it is like awakening from one dream into another. Evolutionary psychology teaches that narrative was the primal form of speech, and that we learned to speak in order to tell stories. But Trine Erotic is not just an engaging story. Alice Andrews makes skillful use of the latest scientific knowledge about the deep evolutionary roots of the modern mind to talk about human nature, women and men, love and sex. The skillful fusion of science with literature is no mean feat, and Andrews succeeds in bringing theoretical concepts to life by embedding them in the lived experience of her characters. I have included Trine Erotic on the reading lists for my undergraduate courses on Evolutionary Psychology."
- David Livingstone Smith, PhD; Director, New England Institute for Cognitive Science and Evolutionary Psychology. Visiting Professor, Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, University of New England, author of Why We Lie: The Evolutionary Roots of Deception and the Unconscious Mind; Freud's Philosophy of the Unconscious, Approaching Psychoanalysis: An Introductory Course, and Psychoanalysis in Question
by Susan Piperato
What a gem of a book New Paltz writer (and Chronogram editor) Alice Andrews has produced in her debut novel, Trine Erotic. In all ways, Trine Erotic is no ordinary first novel. Composed of a trilogy of stories-within-stories, its content is rich and familiar to us, and presented with a deft hand. Set in Upstate New York and Manhattan, the novel explores the relationships between its characters—a wonderful mix of lively, talkative, well-educated New Agers, artists, parents, professionals, academics, cultural rebels and blue-collar workers—and their sense of themselves, which is shaped as much by place as by cultural milieu.
And this is a novel full of surprises, all carefully shaped and utterly believable, as the main characters (many of them women/writers/mothers)—in the 10 or so separate but interwoven stories contained within the novel’s three sections (or novellas)—wind up, in later stories, being each other’s creators or characters.
Trine Erotic is dedicated, in the author’s words, “To every woman’s desire and the art within her. And for alpha males everywhere.” As such, the novel explores the myriad reasons and ways in which women may come to love—and to write—through the lenses of evolutionary psychology, and more loosely evolutionary theory. (Simply put, evolutionary psychology is the theory that our minds are the products of our ancestors’ adaptations to their environment.) But Andrews makes it clear that it’s not just about what evolution has handed us, say, with respect to how women and men relate today; but that we still have choices to make in our human interactions, for instance, as to whether or not we follow memes. (As Andrews explains
“Trine Erotic gave me a certain insight into what one may call the Woman’s Point of View…Andrews’s arguments rang true to life.”
- Arthur Danto, art critic for The Nation and author of Nietzsche as Philosopher; Mysticism and Morality; The Transfiguration of the Commonplace; Narration and Knowledge; Connections to the World: The Basic Concepts of Philosophy; Encounters and Reflections: Art in the Historical Present; and Embodied Meanings: Critical Essays and Aesthetic Meditations
"If D.H. Lawrence had been a woman, if Virginia Woolf had lived today, they might have come up with something like this. In Trine, Andrews explores the realm that is bounded by desire, more precisely the realm bounded by three desires: for love, for sex, for truth. It's like an erotic variation on the true, the beautiful, and the good. Love, sex, truth. Now there's a mythic landscape for you! And Andrews explores it compellingly. She is highly sensitive to nuance, highly sensitive to the shifting shades of truth and the shifting colors of desire. To top it off she writes deftly, with real artistry."
- Carl Frankel, author of In Earth's Company and Out of the Labyrinth
"We first test kindness and strength, loyalty and intelligence, health and political skill in mall flirting and later in pillowtalk and sweaty sheets...all contests that reflect the lust and blood themes of evolutionary biology, trials still encountered by a field bird or a Vassar coed. Four billion years of these contests made us what we are. Andrews's characters reflect these struggles as she sneaks under the drape between our instincts and our excuses for them. Her characters also remind us that we are not all the same even though evolution and public school might have tried to make us that way."
- James Brody, PhD, founder of Clinical Sociobiology. See: Behavior Online
"Alice's measured eye of erotic articulateness smiles through every scene with real womanly knowledge."
- David Appelbaum, former editor, Parabola Magazine; author of The Delay of the Heart, The Stop, and Disruption
"Reuniting" newsletter, November, 2004 No. 11
Alice Andrews' brilliant novel, Trine Erotic, is a story, within a story, within a story, all masterfully linked by themes revealing the interplay of evolution, experience and culture. Here are some questions and answers from her website, "Entelechy: Mind & Culture:"
Q You say 'feministy,' but sometimes you sound downright backwards about women in the novel. What about the thing about that woman not caring about orgasm. . .about some emotional, spiritual connection. 'It's what a woman wants' you write—is there anybody who believes this?
“Trine Erotic is a psychological exploration into the consciousness of Woman, but this is not, by any means a "woman's book." TE sheds a stark light into the dark recesses of the way the mind, heart and soul of a woman work as well as the relations between the sexes—and what she finds isn't always pretty. Her female characters speak with refreshing candor about what they want out of life and the fact that they are not afraid to want it and get it. Think Bridget Jones as hip philosopher, and minus the self-loathing. With Trine Erotic, Andrews has created true heroes.”
- Brian K. Mahoney, editor, Chronogram Magazine
"While writing in the voice of a contemporary young woman, Andrews casts a hard and brilliant light on some of the timeless mysteries of female discontent and desire."
- Marie Winn, author of Red-tails in Love; Children Without Childhood, and The Plug-in Drug
“With this effort, Alice Andrews opens a new genre in fiction: the reflective, biologically informed love story. Primal themes voiced in a very modern idiom. This is not biology in the old sense of simple "animal instincts" or even just the recent sense of selfish genes and the mathematics of human relationship games. It is also biology informed by our modern understanding of how we create and transmit meaning through words. The roles of the "meme" or fuzzy unit of culture, features prominently as a conceptual undercurrent here, but Andrews takes it way beyond being a unit of culture and illustrates by her own masterful example how it is also an agent of human transformation. Through her own storytelling, she seduces the reader into layer after layer of change in their own understanding, all the while explaining what she is doing. This is a relatively novel form of introspective art that both inspires and teaches. Two problems ... we aren't used to art being quite so aware of its own role, especially in scientific terms, and we usually aren't comfortable with women consciously cutting through the haze of erotic games to see their own relentless Darwinian logic. It's exciting and a bit disconcerting as well to see female sexuality both revealed and unleashed in this light. Alice Andrews could well be one of the most important voices of our times and into the future, and deserves to be very well known.
- Todd I. Stark, author of Seductive Approaches and Hypnotic and Subtle Influence and moderator of Best of Human Behavior and Evolution list/Yahoo
emails re trine erotic
It's taken me some time to write. That is, it was a few months ago that I happened upon your book (in Rhino Records of all places, after not having found any music to soothe what ailed and after having spent too much time playing records that just didn't do it), thought about writing you after reading it, and am now this moment in a state of near hallucinatory exhaustion and questioning (just this second!) why the time to write has suddenly presented itself. But we must go with instinct -- what else is there to go with?
First, I suppose I should say that your alluring green book is a triumph in the art of literature -- inventive, seductive, compelling, and (was) nearly impossible to put down at all. Ideas are themselves seductive, but your book extends abstractions into the visceral, into sensation (still lingering); a feat, indeed.
Rarely do I read with such dedication, but your novel required my undivided attention, and it got it. True literary feats are too rare these days, so at the very least, I promised myself that I would congratulate you.
But beyond all this praise, the questions of why your book so engaged me still haunt me. I have some strong hunches though, some certainties, even.
Is the ignorance of your book's multi-chakral stimulation feigned? Either way, it's charming.
– Jason Stern
I'm completely hooked on Trine Erotic, which I've been
reading all evening -- perhaps guzzling when I should be sipping, making
sustained eye contact when I should be saccade-ing.
But when one's parched from trying to climb through too
much dusty, pretentious fiction (B.F. Callow's 'Tartan' most recently -- a brutal
anti-seduction), your voice came through like a cold, crisp Weissbier.
With my wife and son in Italy for
all of April, why do I feel guilty reading your work and responding so
avidly? 'Just' reading? 'Only' reading?
Most fiction is like listening to a mumbling voice
carried by tin cans through a thousand miles of string.
Yours is like hearing a throaty whisper an inch from one's
ear, after a nervously thrilling first dinner
I thought about toning this down, waiting, sleeping on
it, but then I thought, fuck that.
You put a lot of honesty in your writing, and the least a
grateful reader can do is to respond honestly,
without hiding his excitement behind propriety, which is
both a mask and a fig-leaf.
your most recent fan -AF
Alice:I loved it...especially the ending. It's very deep and philosophical, yet sexy. You "crazy wise."
Your book is so much fun. I am enjoying the hell out of it.
It is extremely lucky that I found your E-mail address otherwise you would never hear from me again. This way I can just press send, without bothering to see if I’m naked or not. But you know how it is with stamped mail. It has to be perfect. Even if you expose yourself completely, you can still adjust the scrim, the lighting, the lenses.
It has to be perfect
Before that’s done, you can’t let yourself near the mailbox.
No you can’t.
Not the mailbox.
The mail box has a trap door.
But here in the soapwater of Email, knowing that you have bubbles all around you...
well anyway, it’s a much looser format.
The book is extremely good. Very smart. Very funny (when you wish it). Unapologetic.
It’s a dangerous defense you have, this lack of camouflage. It’s good that you keep it to print. One suspects you could turn into a lawnmower in mid touch. And these woman; they’re always leaving men, or being compromised.
Of course what men want is to compromise woman. But breaking them, making them more – not less. (…Without any outside sensation or doubt.
Which never happens. … Doubt is the great bonding force.
Sarah takes less.)
Anyway the book is making me laugh. And making me other things, and making and it's made me wonder who exactly you are.
I've just finished reading your book and loved it. Congratulations for your remarkable and engrossing work of art.
Fernando Oria Carneiro
Excellent. I hardly know where to start. Since you already must know what a good job you did, and since I hardly consider myself a qualified critic of such a work of art, I'm going to confine my observations to the places where our interests overlap and just share a few thoughts that came up in response to your thoughts, not so much to your book as such.
One is that I've come to think Nietzsche was right in a sense. If the world were "in rhyme, swinging to three-quarter time" then we women would not have to exercise our animi(?) to such an unnatural degree. ....Don't get me wrong. Women CAN do whatever they feel inclined to do. I just think we're feeling inclined to do a lot of unsatisfying things because the genders are way out of whack at the moment. Stereotypical roles aren't the solution, but as we come back into balance, I sense there will be some natural shifts that will benefit the planet enormously. One is women in nurturing functions by choice, but treasured for their gifts (due to higher natural levels of oxytocin).
The yang energy on the planet is not in great shape, thanks, I suspect, to the fact that the cultural emphasis on "ejaculation=pleasure and fulfillment" is kicking male butts at a subtle level. It makes them cranky, selfish, driven by the most addictive aspects of sex, and inclined to undervalue what would truly nurture them. This creates a sort of void in the yang leadership of the planet.
Since "the boys" aren't up to it, some of us goddesses with strong animi (I certainly think I've been a man, and a powerful alpha one at that, in past lives), who sense that the ship of humanity is listing badly, naturally feel compelled to attempt to correct the situation. Which is my answer to Nietzsche's question, "Why are women "dabbling" in male pursuits?" "Because you boys aren't up to the job at the moment!" This also explains my determination to show men how to strengthen themselves from within, and what's weakening them. It's the only way to make them back into the strong, healthy partners we need to balance us properly.
And notice that women's emphasis on orgasm doesn't seem to be leading to deeper contentment and harmony either. Try as we might (and as your protagonists certainly did), we just can't get the pieces of passion and "happily ever after" to fit into the same puzzle board for long at all. Believe me, I am a passionate person by nature, and one of the few things I was sure of--even after I began studying sacred sexuality--was that somehow, some way, with someone, passion and love MUST fit together.
So I was very slow to consider the possibility that we had to choose between them, and that our choice led to completely different destinations. As one of my favorite esoteric books says, "you can have freedom of the body or freedom of the mind, but not both." In my experience--all gained the hard way, with my heels dug in--that's true. Either we can let biology run our love lives, and cloud our minds with neurochemical storms, or we can exercise our wills to keep the focus on giving and balance, and feel lighthearted and deeply satisfied. Our choice. And it may have major implications for our spiritual awakening. I can't say yet.
xx, Marnia Robinson
Trine Erotic is wonderful. I love the interweaving of the different dimensions (i.e., the voices) like see-through mirrors, and particularly the playfulness of the interjection of the grand-narrator voice (ever omniscient and omnipresent) addressing the reader directly....and the raw, uninhibited honesty of the characters and the intelligence that comes through....I can actually envision it as a wonderfully innovative and experimental stage play. Your writing is captivating and unique and will definitely set the trend for biofiction as a new genre.
alice, you are a treasure,
i felt as if i'd spent the whole weekend with you. and
what a weekend it was! i started your book and read it
every chance i got. you're such a magnificent writer!
i love it so much! i'd find myself going back to look
for passages that i just wanted to read and re-read.
you really stir the soul. you get it. so inquisitive
and deep thinking. i love how you get to the heart of
the matter. you don't mince words. and however you do
put them together just fuels the brain and makes it
i'm so honored that you gave me a copy and a signed
one at that! thank you again. i've not finished it
yet, and i feel like i want to study it. isn't that
weird? didn't you tell me that it was being taught in
some classes in universities? i can see why. your turn
of phrase is phenomenal. it is very quotable. so much
i wish i'd thought of, but i'm thankful that you did
and then found a way to articulate it. just wish i had
read it years ago, might have saved me a lot of wasted
sending you big love,