by Nick Ingoglia
(a work in progress)
For 20-something single New Yorkers, the late 1960s and early ‘70s were times of sexual freedom, unlike any in our history. The “Pill” had made pregnancy a non-issue; disease was under control and no longer a deterrent to chance encounters; free-love advocates of the ‘60s hippy generation and early ‘70s feminists encouraged women to explore their sexuality before they married – be more like men, have affairs, experiment, see what you like – they were told; and traditional religious and moral codes of the 1950s, were becoming increasingly irrelevant.
Then came the ‘80s and the AIDS epidemic. This fatal disease coupled with a moral backlash led by religious conservatives and sexual traditionalists sharply reversed the freedoms of the previous era. But what effect did that precipitous societal shift have on the lives of those who experienced that freedom? Did they benefit or suffer from those liberties? Why do those who experienced that revolution find it difficult to honestly discuss their lives back then? What is the difference between pornography and honest descriptions of sexual encounters? Where is the border between smut and literary fiction?
These are some of the questions that arise when three friends meet 25 years after they led carefree, single lives in New York in the 1970s. Intermezzo is a novel that tells what happens when these friends decide to share – honestly and without romanticism or titillation – stories of their sexual encounters from those days that still resonate with powerful emotions. The unexpected addition of a fourth member to the group and a chance encounter with an octogenarian/scientist/