Amy Gentry is the author of the brand new suspense novel, BAD HABITS, a page turner with an eerie, cult-like academic setting—and a deadly outcome.
This episode is a deep dive into the classist, racist, and often exploitative structures within universities. We talk sex as power, desire as weakness, the roles privilege plays in intellectual pursuits, and the erotics of pedagogy. It’s a delicious conversation dripping with intellect and innuendo.
Amy--who holds a PhD in English from the University of Chicago--talks about her experiences in academic circles and how she sees class privilege, racism, and cult-like dynamics at play in them. Carly shares her experiences in graduate school of pronouncing words wrong while rubbing up against people who came to intellectual pursuits as a "birthright."
Amy talks about the blurred lines in student-professor relationships at university and looks at the types of exchanges of power that can happen in hierarchal systems. We talk about the vulnerability of wanting something so hard that it makes you susceptible to exploitation or abuse.
Amy divulges on the "sexy professor" trope and why it's such a common fantasy, and how she wrote the sex scenes in BAD HABITS. Amy talks about sex scenes in novels as "choreography," which Amy credits to Layne Fargo, the author of a bunch of super sexy thrillers, such as They Never Learn.
Amy talks about the fun of writing characters who do unspeakable things, and the work of understanding their motives.
Amy recommends Lisa Ruddick's academic writing on academia (how meta!). Her piece, When Nothing is Cool, is her most famous.
She also references Kate Mann's Down Girl: The Logic of Misogyny when we discuss the image of women with desire.
Buy BAD HABITS here.
Find Amy on Twitter (though she's taking a brief hiatus from Twitter) and Instagram @unlandedgentry.