By Rae Meadows
(MacAdam Cage, Hardcover, 9781596921658, 230pp.)
Publication Date: July 4, 2006
Other Editions of This Title: Paperback
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A smart, sexy debut about a young woman coming to terms with a life she hadn’t planned.
After being dumped by her boyfriend, Jane quits her job in New York City, drives west, and lands in Salt Lake City, where she takes a job answering phones at a Mormon-endorsed escort agency.
As Jane struggles to find companionship and purpose in her new surroundings, she mothers the escorts and flirts with callers. But the pull of mystery and danger is too great. Boundaries begin to blur, and Jane inches toward a place that would have once been unthinkable: She becomes an escort. Shifting between self-doubt and confidence, uncertainty and adrenaline, Jane descends into the lonely world of sexual commerce and discovers – through her “bad” behavior – a new sense of self.
With convincing, atmospheric prose, Meadows captures both the landscape and politics of Utah, the ironies of America’s heartland, and reminds us that clarity and community can be found in the most unlikely places.
Rae Meadows is a graduate of Stanford University and the MFA program at the University of Utah. Her short stories have appeared in Mississippi Review, Flyway, 580 Split, and Fine Print. She lives in Brooklyn, New York. Calling Out is her first novel.
“Meadows displays strong narrative technique as she brings the disjointed culture of Mormon-ruled Salt Lake City and a group of disjointed 20-something Latter Day Sinners into high relief…a writer to watch.”
— Kirkus Reviews
"Rae Meadows' novel is a sexy, confident, totally winning debut...she brings the sordid world of the escort business into affecting and often hilarious relief. [She] is a shining talent."
–Darin Strauss, author of Chang and Eng and The Real McCoy
I recognize these dreamers and fallen angels from the books of Joan Didion and Hubert Selby and Denis Johnson, and here they spring to life in an unexpected place – the Great Salt Lake, the onetime American Holy Land that still draws wayward pilgrims. They are at once desperate and aspiring, lonely and hopeful: an escort making just a few more dates to pay for a root canal, a jack Mormon trying to impress a girl in a strip club by recounting the origins of his faith. In her own rush toward oblivion, our clearheaded heroine navigates among them without pity, but with a grace that ultimately make this a story not of loss, or sin, but of redemption.”
–Mark Sundeen, author of Car Camping and The Making of Toro
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For its 10th anniversary, the festival celebrates those who have dared to stand ‘on the edge,’ risking their careers, and sometimes their lives, to speak out for their art and beliefs. Join us for a wide range of events, including debates, one-on-one conversations, participatory workshops and performances in venues throughout the city. Use the code PEN14 (use PEN2014 for events at The Public Theater) and receive a 20 percent discount on most events. www.worldvoicesfestival.org