By Beth Nugent
(Vintage, Paperback, 9780679744245, 208pp.)
Publication Date: December 8, 1997
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Following her critically acclaimed collection of short stories, City of Boys, Beth Nugent brings her dark and eerie vision to a powerful first novel.
Live Girls is the story of Catherine, in her twenties, who sells tickets in a run-down porn theater in a decrepit port city, A sign in the window of the seedy hotel where she lives reads Transients Welcome. Her only friend is Jerome, an anorexic drag queen who searches for love among the sailors.
As Catherine and Jerome set out for Hollywood, we witness -with equal horror and fascination -- their desperate attempt to find redemption in a world that offers them so little.
In haunting, stylized prose, Nugent takes us deep into her protagonist's psyche while painting a bizarre -- yet oddly familiar -- picture of a dissociated, disconnected America. Live Girls is a tour de force that will leave no one who reads it unshaken.
Beth Nugent received an MFA from the University of Iowa. She teaches at the University of Denver. Her short fiction has appeared in The New Yorker and Grand Street.
"Beth Nugent's stories are engaging, haunting, and lasting."
-- David Leavitt
"She is one of those rare writers who are both skilled stylists and powerful storytellers." -- Robert Boswell
"She is a terrific writer ... Nugent looks into the maelstrom without blinking."
-- Geoffrey Stokes, Boston Globe