How to Get into the Twin Palms

Karolina Waclawiak. Two Dollar Radio (Consortium, dist.), $16 trade paper (194p) ISBN 978-0-9832471-8-0
In a taut debut from the Believer deputy editor, a lonely 25-year-old Polish woman struggles to shed the American skin she’s grown since immigrating to Texas as a child; she wants to sound and look “more Eastern European... Soviet-built and dooming,” so that she might attract the attention of the Russian men who frequent—and frequently have sex outside of—the nightclub across the street from her L.A. apartment. In 1994 Anya, recently displaced from her position at a temp agency, spends her time spying on the night-clubbers; dying her hair to look like those “4 a.m. Girls”; calling Bingo numbers for lonely-but-still-horny church widows; and following the Moorpark and Tierra Rejada fires, which fill the air with an acrid haze as they scar the Hollywood hills. Before the smoke reaches her balcony, Anya catches the attention of Lev, who, with his Russian prison tattoos and “intoxicating smell [of] onions and cologne,” promises her access to the Twin Palms, as well as companionship and an elusive—if not illusive—identity. Though thin on plot, Anya’s story strikes with the creeping suddenness of a brush fire. (July 17)
Reviewed on: 05/21/2012
Release date: 08/01/2012
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Ebook - 200 pages - 978-1-937512-05-7
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