cover image Diary of an Emotional Idiot

Diary of an Emotional Idiot

Maggie Estep / Author Harmony $18 (192p) ISBN 978-0-517-70179-

Performance artist Estep delivers a raspy, ultra-hip monologue for her first novel, a clever and cynical take on a young woman's life on the edge of urban society. Zoe, a ""fuck-book writer and receptionist to dominatrixes"" who lives in Manhattan's East Village, narrates from the closet of her ex-boyfriend Satan, where she is awaiting his return so she can tie him up with her bicycle chain and make him perform menial tasks. ""Maybe I should confide my heartaches to Lucy the Mailwoman. But I'm not like that. I'd rather tell them to you."" Tell them to us she does, shifting easily between the past and present: shuffling from town to town with her mother or father; scooping litter out of her drug dealer's cat's box for free dope; scrubbing toilets as penance and punishment during rehab at a halfway house; and, above all, loving and leaving (or being left by) a variety of boyfriends in an endless cycle of repulsion and attraction. The writing is as raw and unpolished as Zoe, but also as smart and funny. This diary reveals not only Zoe's vulnerabilities but also her fierce pride in her unusual life. Zoe likes to talk about herself, and Estep succeeds in making the reader want to listen. (Mar.)