Debbie Doesn't Do It Anymore
By Walter Mosley
(Doubleday, Hardcover, 9780385526180, 272pp.)
Publication Date: May 13, 2014
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In this scorching, mournful, often explicit, and never less than moving literary novel by the famed creator of the Easy Rawlins series, Debbie Dare, a black porn queen, has to come to terms with her sordid life in the adult entertainment industry after her tomcatting husband dies in a hot tub. Electrocuted. With another woman in there with him. Debbie decides she just isn't going to "do it anymore." But executing her exit strategy from the porn world is a wrenching and far from simple process.
Millions of men (and no doubt many women) have watched famed black porn queen Debbie Dare—she of the blond wig and blue contacts-"do it" on television and computer screens every which way with every combination of partners the mind of man can imagine. But one day an unexpected and thunderous on-set orgasm catches Debbie unawares, and when she returns to the mansion she shares with her husband, insatiable former porn star and "film producer" Theon Pinkney, she discovers that he's died in a case of hot tub electrocution, "auditioning" an aspiring "starlet." Burdened with massive debts that her husband incurred, and which various L.A. heavies want to collect on, Debbie must reckon with a life spent in the peculiar subculture of the pornography industry and her estrangement from her family and the child she had to give up. She's done with porn, but her options for what might come next include the possibility of suicide. Debbie . . . is a portrait of a ransacked but resilient soul in search of salvation and a cure for grief.
WALTER MOSLEY is the author of forty-two books, most notably eleven Easy Rawlins mysteries, the first of which, Devil in a Blue Dress, was made into an acclaimed film starring Denzel Washington. Always Outnumbered was an HBO film starring Laurence Fishburne, adapted from his first Socrates Fortlow novel. A native of Los Angeles and a graduate of Goddard College, he holds an MFA from CCNY and lives in Brooklyn, New York. He is the winner of numerous awards, including an O. Henry Award, a Grammy Award, and PEN America's Lifetime Achievement Award.
Praise for DEBBIE DOESN'T DO IT ANYMORE:
"In most of his 42 books, the much-admired Mosley has given us desperate characters constantly tested by circumstances and fate. Until now, none of his other series or stand-alones have come close to matching the kudos that have been showered on the Rawlins series. But Debbie's on stage now, and her brutally elegant story and its shocking conclusion will stun you."
"This could be the best thing Mosley has written in years, a deeply affecting story of a woman whose determination to pull herself out of one life and into another is tested almost to its limits by things she can't control—until she finds a way to control them...[Mosley is] back at the top of his game here."
—Booklist, starred review
"The premise is jarring, yet Mosley is able to pain a picture of ordinary people. He shows the humanity of the characters despite their flaws."
"Prolific novelist Mosley (Little Green, 2013, etc.) fielded his fair share of criticism for his X-rated one-two punch of Killing Johnny Fry (2006) and Diablerie (2007), and readers attracted to the equally explicit nature of this novel might be expecting more of the same. In truth, readers are likely to be more surprised by the depth of protagonist Sandra Peel, whom the author treats with tremendous compassion... A well-told redemption song about the most unlikely of heroines."
"... Debbie is an elemental creation in Mosely’s canon, a strong female character with an impeccable voice."