In 1976, Maryse Holder traveled to Mexico to pursue a life of sexual exploration.
She wrote a series of letters describing her experiences, expressing a desire to "wring a masterpiece from my life.” Following Holder's brutal murder in Mexico at the age of 36, these letters became the basis for the book Give Sorrow Words: Maryse Holder's Letters from Mexico.
Published in 1979 by Grove Press, it was praised by The New York Times Book Review (“A compelling document... the letters are her legacy, her testament, her vindication”,) The Kirkus Review ( “Brilliant… powerful”) and her writing compared to Genet, Jean Rhys and Henry Miller in it's sexual candor and artistry.
In 2013, Edith Jones, the woman to whom Maryse Holder wrote those letters, is re-issuing Give Sorrow Words in a new ebook edition. This long-forgotten masterpiece of feminist sexuality is timelier than ever, foreshadowing the blunt talk about a women’s erotic life embodied by Lena Dunham and others.