Nicole Newnham’s “The Disappearance of Shere Hite”
By LARB Radio HourNovember 17, 2023
Listen to the episode
Subscribe on Podcasts | Spotify | SoundCloud
Do you love listening to the LARB Radio Hour? Support the production of this weekly podcast on books, art, and culture. Donate today.
Eric Newman and Medaya Ocher are joined by award-winning director Nicole Newnham to discuss her latest film, The Disappearance of Shere Hite. The documentary explores the life and work of Shere Hite, a sexological researcher whose 1976 book The Hite Report on Female Sexuality brought the private reality of women’s sexual experience into mainstream consciousness and became one of the bestselling books of all time. But the male cultural anxiety sparked by the book’s findings generated a powerful backlash to Hite’s work in popular media, making her a pariah and driving her into a self-imposed European exile after which she largely receded from American public consciousness. Eric, Medaya, and Nicole discuss the larger cultural frameworks of Shere Hite’s story, the enduring legacy of her research, and how restoring a feminist firebrand from the past might help us navigate ongoing battles for gender and sexual liberation in the present.
Also, Justin Torres, fresh from winning the National Book Award for his novel Blackouts, returns to recommend My Body is Paper, a collection of previously unpublished writings by Gil Cuadros, as well as City of God by Cuadros.
Did you know LARB is a reader-supported nonprofit?
LARB publishes daily without a paywall as part of our mission to make rigorous, incisive, and engaging writing on every aspect of literature, culture, and the arts freely accessible to the public. Please consider supporting our work and helping to keep LARB free.