In the early 1960s, in the quiet little town of Sonora, CA., former high school English teacher Dale Koby high-tailed it to Mexico and surfaced years later with Campus Sexpot, a scandalous tell-all on Sonora, with names given only the thinnest of disguises and deeds as dirty as the teenaged mind could imagine…
It is this book that author David Carkeet uses as a springboard, and a framing device, for his own autobiography; noting comparisons and, more often, contrasts between his own Sonoran experience and Campus Sexpot’s characters.
Some readers may be surprised to discover they've already read Chapter Six, regarding the “International Order of DeMolay,” a dogmatic, pragmatic, civic organization for boys Carkeet was roped into as a lad and refers to as, “a religion without a god.” This in-depth study of DeMolay was published in the latest River Styx literary magazine [Issue 69/70, 2005].
Through a workshop-style reading of the cheesy 1960s pulp novel, Campus Sexpot, however, Carkeet manages to make some serious and heartfelt points, even while the reader is laughing out loud at his professorial critique of each line. Campus Sexpot is a hilarious tour through the embarrassment of adolescence and small-town families. For female readers, it’s also an education on American boyhood. But ultimately, it’s a serious reflection and exploration of Carkeet’s own journey from boy to man, and, even more than that, to a person of worth.
[Ed. Note: David Carkeet's book, Campus Sexpot recently won the AWP Award Series in Creative Nonfiction.]