Monday, 22 April 2013


ISBN-10: 0-491-00257-2
Writer: Gwen Davis
Title: Touching
Language: English
Edition: First British Edition

Place of Publication: London & New York
Publisher: W.H. Allen & Co. Ltd
Year of Publication: 1971
Format: 140x210mm
Pages: 216
Illustrations: 1 black and white of the writer on back flap
Jacket design: Ken Reilly Ltd

Binding: Boards in colour dust jacket
Original Price: GBP 1.50
Weight: 433gr.
Entry No.: 2013009
Entry Date: 22nd April 2013


The author of the best-selling novel The Pretenders has once again taken a probing look behind the facade of contemporary leisure society, this time concentrated in a twenty-four Encounter session in Southern California. Encounter, in which people meet and touch, is the new psychiatric therapy that has recently become popular in America.

This short and powerful novel is about two women who attend a naked Encounter session, what happens to them at the gathering, and how it affects their lives. Marion, the narrator, is assigned to report the meeting for the magazine she works for, and asks her close friend, Soralie, to join her because she thinks it might amuse her. Both the women are married and reasonably happy, but it seems tnat they, too, are hoping to learn more about themselves at the Encounter.

The reader becomes involved with Simon, the leader of the session, and many of those participating. They have contemporary problems –sexual, social, religious. But the reader’s chief interest is Soralie –attractive, interesting, witty and gay –or at least superficially so. During the session, however, it develops that Soralie is convinced that her husband does not love her, and that she has taken a lover in an act of emotional desperation. She is trying to work this out, and by the end of the Encounter makes a decision to try to resolve her marital problems.

Miss Davis has created and interesting and sympathetic set of characters who are very much a part of our time.  They are completely real, as in their dialogue and their story. This is the contemporary novel at its most readable –involving, penetrating, witty, tragic, always human –and with a shattering and surprising finale.

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