In That Thing You Do With Your Mouth, actress and voiceover artist Samantha Matthews offers—in the form of an extended monologue, prompted and arranged by New York Times–bestselling author (and Matthews’s cousin once removed) David Shields—a vivid investigation of her startling sexual history. From her abuse at the hands of a family member to her present-day life in Barcelona, where she briefly moonlighted as a dubber of Italian pornography into English, Matthews reveals herself to be a darkly funny, deeply contemporary woman with a keen awareness of how her body has been routinely hijacked and how she has been “formatted” by her early trauma. Her story is a study of her own uneasy relationships with female desire, her tormentors, and her lovers—with whom she seeks out both the infliction and receipt of harm. This book is an attempt, sometimes self-thwarted, to break down barriers: sexual and emotional for Matthews, and literary for Shields.
For Matthews and Shields, the only response to the unspeakable is to speak, to do that thing you do with your mouth, as directly and honestly as possible. Their provocative performance refuses neat resolution or emotional pornography; it will have readers, from literary critics to Jezebel commentators, raving, raging, celebrating, talking.