My Sister, My Sin – Terence Fitzbancroft (Ophelia Press, 1968)

A classic title from Maurice Girodas’ American version of The Olympia Press, the Ophelia imprint which tended to offer more down market erotica.

Who was Terence Fitzbancroft?  Unknown.  He only write two books for Ophelia, the other being The Shape of Desire. However, it seems the new Olympia Press, while reprinting the two Fitzbandcrofts in ebook and POD formats, have issued some “lost” books by the guy, listed hereThe Sex Machine Peddlers, Sin Tape, and Naked Neighbors.

Yes, the title tells it all — this is an incest tale about two siblings in their teens, told from the POV of the brother, “Terry.”  The sex is graphic, being a 1968 publication, and certainly perverted, being incest, but the prose is rather smooth and literate, unlike other Ophelia titles of the time that I have picked up.

Terry and Sandy have been shuffled from one boarding school to one camp and another as the marriage of their parents falls apart; now that the divorce is happening, they spend the summer with their grandmother on their mother’s side until the divorce details and custody is figured out.  The novel opens:

One morning in the summer of my fourteenth year I woke up with a much stiffer and thicker erection than any my young loins had ever before sustained. (p.1)

This is a dysfunctional family beyond brother and sister — their parents fight a lot and the father is a drunk.  Terry confesses to Sandy, his sister, about something strange that happened a few years earlier: their father came into his room, very drunk, and spanked young Terry for some unknown crime; this act caused Terry to have an erection — he liked the spanking — and when the father noticed this, he sucked his son off.

In many ways, this reminded me of George Baitaille’s Story of the Eye — two young people exploring extreme sexuality, going further as they get bored with each new step.  Terry and Sandy try out S/M, pain, anal sex, whatever happens to tickle their fancies and fantasies.

She was obviously enjoying it as much as I was.  She was half-naked, having put on a pair of short-shorts, but still topless so that her breasts jiggled and bounced as she beat me.

“Can’t you hit any harder than that?” I said.

She complied. “You must be some kind of masochist.” she said.

“What a masochist?”

“That’s a guy who gets a hard-on when people kick him around, especially girl people.” (p. 74-5)

and:

She squealed and struggled, trying to wiggle free, but I held her down easily and proceeded to suck and bite her breasts savagely. The harder I bit her nipples, the harder and hotter they became […] A Large, blood-sucked bruise surrounded her left nipple; above and below the bruise were distinct teeth marks.

“You must be a sadist,” she said.

“What’s that?”

“A guy who gets a hard-on trying to bite off girls’ nipples.” (p. 76)

But such love is bound to head for disaster…Terry is possessive of his sister, so jealous that he wants to beat up the boy who took her virginity a year ago.  When Terry has a quick fuck with 16 year old Kitty, Sandy flips her lid…

And then their mother catches them in the act, and all hell breaks loose.  Sandy is sent away, and then Terry’s alcoholic mother starts looking at Terry differently, and thus the Oedipal happens.

An original 1968 Ophelia might be hard to find, but the new Olympia Press has reprinted it in ebook and POD format, and it’s also up at Google Books.

Definitely worth reading.

2 Responses to “My Sister, My Sin – Terence Fitzbancroft (Ophelia Press, 1968)”

  1. According to Patrick J. Kearney, the Olympia collector and bibliographer, Fitzbancroft was Joseph Renard (see Earl Kemp’s e*I*22- (Vol. 4 No. 5) October 2005). Seems Renard was a playwright in N.Y. City who has some ties to Barry Malzberg. Malzberg wrote an introduction to Renard’s science fiction novel, “The Monodyne Catastrophe” (Major, 1977), so perhaps these ties go back to their college days. Fitzbancroft’s other Olympia Press book, Shape of Desire, is worth seeking out as is Monodyne.

  2. vintagesleazepaperbacks Says:

    Thanks, Jim, this is good info. Will ask Malzberg about Renard.

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