Rebecca Horowitz, Puerto Rican Sex Freak

Edgardo Yunque, Author
Edgardo Yunque, Author . Overlook $24.95 (512p) ISBN 978-1-59020-064-3
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A rainbow of contradictions and a master of guises, Rebecca Horowitz is Yunqué's wise-cracking, 34-year-old narrator who documents her descent into sex freakdom. Rebecca survives an ugly duckling postadolescence and moves in among the self-congratulating liberals of gentrifying Brooklyn. In saunters Charlie Maisonet, a Puerto Rican drug dealer turned painter turned film student who licks her hand when they're first introduced. This incites an extended sexual romp where multiple orgasms are the norm and no New York City landmark—the subway, the Central Park Zoo, the 42nd Street Library—is safe. Besotted Rebecca meets Charlie's mother, Mama Chavela, and soon ditches her job and her vegetarian diet, and changes her name to Zorida Delgado. But when Zorida takes Mama Chavela's advice to “use sex as a controlling device” and makes the rent by dancing topless and eventually by more dangerous means, she risks losing Charlie. The prose will either annoy or fascinate, and some readers may balk at how Yunqué parlays Puerto Rican stereotypes into too-easy jokes, but readers into the brash and the un-P.C. may enjoy this coupling of sex and identity politics. (July)

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