Writing Personals is not a novel about writing personals ads. It's a novel about writing a book about people who write personals ads, a book which when written will be entitled Personals. Not confusing: The main character, Sylvia Weisler is gathering information from people who have placed or answered personals ads. She is fascinated with their reasons for utilizing this means of finding whatever it is they're looking for, and she wants to know whether, in fact, they have found it.

 Sylvia's taped interviews allow for a diverse collection of unique characters with their singular stories spoken in their own voices. We meet a charming deceitful philander, a gay young man who is suddenly deeply attracted to a middle-aged woman, a Jewish man who is only attracted to long-legged, blonde shiksehs, Tony of Tony's Bar and Grill who is happily married but falls in love with one of the bar's regulars, who writes "neighborhood porn." We encounter some of these people only for the space of one interview. Others appear more than once and some, who were supposed to be simply book material, merge into Sylvia's real life, affecting her self-knowledge, her values, and her relationships with her former good friends. While not overtly a political book, Writing Personals, conveys a strong liberal political subtext.

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Back-cover page and where to buy: WRITING PERSONALS