CHICO, Calif. — Jane Juska, whose chronicle of searching for sex as a woman in her 60s became a best-selling memoir and later a stage show, has died in California. She was 84.
Juska died Oct. 24 at a Chico care facility after a long illness, her son, Andy Juska, told the San Francisco Chronicle for a story Saturday.
She was a retired and divorced schoolteacher living in Berkeley, California, when she wrote her memoir, “A Round-Heeled Woman: My Late-Life Adventures in Sex and Romance,” published in 2003.
Inspiration for the book came after Juska took out a personal ad in the New York Review of Books that said: “Before I turn 67, next March, I would like to have a lot of sex with a man I like. If you want to talk first, Trollope works for me.”
Juska found herself with numerous responses from men of all ages that led to flings that she said changed her life.
“I was just bubbling,” she told the Chronicle in a 2003 profile. At first she considered turning her experiences into a novel, but she eventually decided to tell the true stories. Her tales of dating and romance became the memoir, which was titled after an antiquated term for a promiscuous woman.
The best-seller landed her on TV with Oprah Winfrey and Charlie Rose and was adapted into a one-woman show starring Sharon Gless that was performed in San Francisco, Miami and London.
“She was funny & brave,” Gless said on Twitter about Juska. “I loved her very much.”
In 2006 Juska published a second memoir, “Unaccompanied Women,” about her days before the personal ad.
Before becoming an author, Juska taught English for more than three decades, at Ygnacio Valley High School in Concord, California, Saint Mary’s College of California and San Quentin State Prison.
She was also a freelance writer, contributing essays to magazines including Vogue and Self.
In addition to her son, Juska is survived by her daughter-in-law, Mary; her sister, Sue; and two granddaughters.
A memorial ceremony is planned.