Zipper Mouth

Laurie Weeks. Feminist, $14.95 trade paper (160p) ISBN 978-1-55861-748-3
Weeks’s brash, exuberant debut traces a young lesbian woman’s tortured, drug-addled, unrequited crush while living in New York City in edgier times. Hailing from a small farming community in the Midwest where she rejected the prevailing passions of “hunting and vacuuming,” the narrator, the daughter of an alcoholic father (“a drunken pork sausage”) who eventually died a violent death, gravitated to New York in her 20s, stumbled into odd jobs, heroin, and cocaine, and fell hopelessly in love with Jane, a savvy performance artist who happens to be straight—despite her ambiguous come-ons. This keeps the narrator in a feverish state of “fascinating and seductive interiority”; she’s drugged up, out of work, and obsessing, as her letter to actress Judy Davis clearly shows: “Though you look so calm and composed in your films, Judy, I suspect this to be a well-rehearsed defense mechanism.” The narrator is wracked by anxieties and is at home in the toxic landscape of 1980s lower Manhattan; drugs and alcohol both calm and stimulate her, lending the prose a psychotic compression that recalls Naked Lunch and imparts a fresh, lyrical sympathy to Week’s narrator. Dreamy, impressionistic, and rapturous, this brief volume is an ecstatic love story. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 08/08/2011
Release date: 10/01/2011
Genre: Fiction
Ebook - 144 pages - 978-1-55861-755-1
Paperback - 225 pages - 978-1-59350-154-9
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