Melissa Panarello; Photo: NY Times

Let's face it: Anytime there is anything that has to do with teenagers and sex, it's going to move product or at least generate inches and soundbites in the media. Especially when it's a cute girl with a rather autobiographical book that details her sex life. The Times looks at a book written by Italian teenager Melissa Panarello, One Hundred Strokes of the Hairbrush Before Going to sleep, which recounts "erotic adventures of a sexually ravenous girl who caroms between younger and older men, homosexuality and sadomasochism." The book has become a bestseller in Italy, and "One Hundred Strokes" (hee!!) will be coming stateside in the fall; Frank Bruni's article has further details:

The title of the book refers to a kind of purging ritual that the book's narrator, also named Melissa, performs after she is prodded by one of her sexual partners into having sex with him and four other men at the same time. That happens on her 16th birthday.

It follows and precedes many other sexual encounters, sometimes arranged on the Internet and often recounted in near clinical detail.


Which leads Gothamist to laugh at the quote from the publisher, Simone Caltabellota, on his initial reaction of the book: "I felt something." Oh, NY Times, you are so tongue–in–cheek! The other classic quote is from Panarello herself, who reveals that the home computer was in the garage, "My mother did not want it in the house. She believed that it was an instrument of the devil." Seems like the sexier, steamier, and slightly older Italian prose version the American movie, Thirteen; no word on the film rights yet.