Tag Archives: San Francisco Magazine

Berkeley sex surrogate: ‘My work is like cooking school’

Cheryl Cohen Greene
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Just in time for Oscar season, Cheryl Cohen Greene — the Berkeley-based certified sex surrogate whose relationship with the polio-stricken writer Mark O’Brien forms the basis of the indie crowd-pleaser The Sessions — has a new memoir, An Intimate Life: Sex, Love, and My Journey as a Surrogate Partner (Soft Skull Press). Here she talks with San Francisco magazine’s Nina Martin. Cohen Greene will be reading Tuesday, Jan. 29, at 7 pm at Books Inc. on Fourth St. in Berkeley.

How did you decide that you wanted to do your own version of the story?
The timing with the movie was somewhat coincidental. I had been writing a book for many years [but it got derailed for various reasons, including the death of her collaborator at the time]. Eventually I found [Oakland-based coauthor] Lorna Garano, who is fabulous.

Meanwhile, [the movie’s director/screenwriter] Ben Lewin, who had polio as a child, had read Mark’s essay [On Seeing a Sex Surrogate, 1990]. It touched him so deeply and he decided to make a movie. Ben and I met [in the mid 2000s], and then for three years I didn’t see him. We talked occasionally on the phone. His wife Judi, whom I adore, said to me, “Get on his case. We have to make some money, but I want him to write this.” They actually re-mortgaged their home to finance the movie. They sold jewelry. For them, making this movie was an act of love. … Continue reading »

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Eat Real Lit Fest features Berkeley scribes

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The second annual Eat Real Festival, a three-day showcase of the best of the Bay Area’s street food carts, local growers, artisan beer and wine purveyors, cheese makers, urban homesteaders, and other local food crafters kicks off tomorrow at Jack London Square in downtown Oakland.

The event that promises to “Put the Food Back in Fast,” is the brainchild of Anya Fernald, the executive director of Slow Food Nation, a 2008 gathering of gourmands held in … Continue reading »

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News

Berkeley and Brooklyn: An eerie similarity

Berkeley
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Brooklyn and Berkeley. They share so much more than the same initial letter and bridges that also begin with “B”. If you read the New York Times, you will find their regular, nay almost obsessive, coverage of the goings-on in Brooklyn neighborhoods such as Park Slope, spookily familiar. The demographic, the passions, the fashions — down to the adoration of the canine species — it’s all a bit of a Brooklyn-Berkeley blur.

The May edition of … Continue reading »

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