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The Science of Sex

By Marcus Gilmer in Arts & Entertainment on Apr 24, 2008 5:20PM

2008_04_Roach.jpgIf you've been longing to hear a writer talk about ghosts, cadavers, and sex, today is your lucky day. Author Mary Roach is blessing the Chicago area with her expertise in all three arenas.

Roach first grabbed our attention with her excellent book Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers, in which she explored what happens with our bodies after we shuffle off our mortal coils. Medical school, cadaver farms, organ donations; she covered it all and injected, uh, life into the topic, making humorous observations that had us laughing out loud (and convinced us to become organ donors). She followed that book with Spook: Science Tackles the Afterlife, an attempt to get to the bottom of ghouls, mediums, and seances. While the possibilities for mocking turn-of-the-century ghost hunterswere many, Roach never went over the top. That's the thing that we love about Roach: while her writing is (often very) funny, the humor never outweighs her extensive research and never undermines the (often very) interesting scientific aspect.

Now we're excited to get our hands on her new book, Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex. Besides using her trademark mix of research and wit to answer such questions as "Do dead men get erections?" we're curious to read what Mary has to say about copulating with her husband in a lab for the purposes of scientific research. And we imagine that Roach is just as entertaining in person as she is in print.

Mary Roach, Thursday, April 24, 6 p.m. at 57th Street Books, 1301 E. 57th St.

Image of Mary Roach taken from her website