HARLEM — The Harlem author of a book of Bible-inspired erotica got a negative review last week — in the form of vandalism on the steps of his 123rd Street home.
Matthew Stillman, writer of the book "Genesis Deflowered," found red graffiti reading "blasphmy," misspelled, on the bottom step of his brownstone early Friday morning.
Described as "50 Shades of the Bible" by The Huffington Post, Stillman's book elaborates on implied sex scenes in the first book of the 1611 King James version of the Bible, including exactly how the world repopulated after the great flood.
"I think someone is angry and lashed out," said Stillman, a former television and film producer who reported the graffiti to the 28th Precinct which classified the incident as a case of criminal mischief.
Stillman, 40, said he has received hate mail about the book published in August since he appeared on Fox News earlier this month.
"You're still my enemy, but lucky for us...the Bible says to love your enemies," one piece of mail read.
Stillman defended "Genesis Deflowered," which is written in the flowery English of the 17th century, and said he didn't intend to degrade the Bible, which he said mentions at least 500 implied sexual situations in Genesis alone.
"The writing is chaste and poetic and helps enrich the stories," he said. "If I wanted to make a splash in the world of erotic literature, writing in Elizabethan English is not the way to do it."
The idea for "Genesis Deflowered," for which Stillman consulted scholarly texts, came to the author as he helped a friend research a book about unusual works of erotica. He said he saw online a poorly written story on how Mary became impregnated with Jesus.
Despite the "bad writing" of the post, Stillman said he noticed commenters' responses were overwhelmingly positive, with some people saying the writing helped them to appreciate the text more.
"It helped people assimilate two primal desires. We live in a world where sex and morality are greatly influenced by the Bible," said Stillman, who is a non-practicing Jew.
The Huffington Post praised "Genesis Deflowered" for respecting the "classic text in form and structure" while making readers "think about sex and religion in a new way."
Stillman said he has started work on an erotic version of the Bible's second book, which he plans to call "Exodus Deflowered." He added that he wants to talk with critics.
"I would want to find out from the person who did this what they are so angry about and if they have actually read the book," he said.