Reading from Behind

A Cultural Analysis of the Anus

Jonathan A. Allan


A staggeringly unique and insightful exploration of the anus.

'A serious work of theory.'
The Guardian

‘Jonathan Allan has come up with a whole theory of the arsehole.’
Dazed and Confused

In a resolute deviation from the governing totality of the phallus, Reading from Behind offers a radical reorientation of the anus and its role in the collective imaginary.

It exposes what is deeply hidden in our cultural production, and challenges the authority of paranoid, critical thought.

A beautiful work that invites us beyond the rejection of phallocentricism, to a new way of being and thinking about sex, culture and identity.

Author Bio

Jonathan A. Allan holds the Canada research chair in queer theory at Brandon University, Canada.

Table of Contents

  • Introduction: No Wrong Doors: An Entryway
  • 1. Anal Theory, or Reading from Behind
  • 2. Orienting Virginity
  • 3. Topping from the Bottom: Anne Tenino's Frat Boy and Toppy
  • 4. Orienting Brokeback Mountain
  • 5. Spanking Colonialism
  • 6. Unlocking Delmira Agustini's 'El Intruso'
  • 7. Shameful Matrophilia in Doña Herlinda y su hijo
  • 8. Vengeful Vidal


'Allan's work is, in a sense, groundbreaking ... opening up a whole new field of study ... Allan's book should be required reading.'
The Independent

'A serious work of theory, exploring the backside as a site of humiliation and disgust.'
The Guardian

‘Assholes are like opinions: Everyone has them – but no one has more opinions on assholes than Jonathan Allan.’

‘Jonathan Allan has come up with a whole theory of the arsehole.’
Dazed and Confused

‘Looks at the subject of the ‘booty’ with remarkable enthusiasm.’

‘Entertaining and informative.’ 
Merrill Cole, author of The Other Orpheus: A Poetics of Modern Homosexuality

‘A remarkably fresh and original contribution to contemporary queer studies. I am confident that, with Reading from Behind, Allan will emerge as a widely respected critical voice of his generation.’ 
David William Foster, author of Sexual Textualties: Essays on Queer/ing Latin American Writing

‘Allan reorients studies of anality.’ 
Todd Reeser, author of Masculinities in Theory

'Readers outside the academy will be rewarded with a fine example of textual analysis—and, possibly, a new appreciation of the anus as the most democratic and empowering of our body parts.'
Literary Review of Canada


Publication Date: 15 March 2016
264 pages

Not available in: Canada, United States

Product ISBNs: Paperback: 9781783607549
Hardback: 9781783607556
eBook ePub: 9781783607570
eBook PDF: 9781783607563
eBook Kindle: 9781783607587

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