Lauras Skin

J. F. Federspiel, Author, Breon Mitchell, Translator, Jurg Federspiel, Author Fromm International $18.95 (211p) ISBN 978-0-88064-126-5
Nineteen-year-old Laura Granati daydreams of Mussolini hanging upside down as she undresses for Signor Robusti. This wealthy, 70-year-old Milanese bachelor, who has 34 illegitimate children and converses with his mother's corpse, is so obsessed with the beauty of Laura's rear end that he hires the world's greatest tattoo artist to paint the seven continents on her rump. In this madcap, farcical, lecherous lark of a novel, Swiss-born Federspiel ( The Ballad of Typhoid Mary ) roars with cosmic laughter at sexual passion, a world on the brink of suicide, American pizza and a New York where even the pigeons are turning violent. In a whirlwind U.S. tour, Laura's posterior is solemnly appreciated by the art world, by a gathering of retired Third World dictators and, especially, by a Japanese mafioso, who is a tattoo connoisseur, eager to possess her skin. Laura finds true love with a blind man. Though his humor is often arch, Federspiel effectively mixes the stuff of supermarket tabloids with angel lore and lascivious lunacy to prove that beauty is only skin-deep, in both hemispheres. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 02/04/1991
Release date: 02/01/1991
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