Moira Orfei in Aigues-Mortes
By Wayne Koestenbaum
(Soft Skull Press, Paperback, 9781932360530, 256pp.)
Publication Date: September 2004
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Pianist Theo Mangrove's planned comeback is imminent, but he's losing his nerve. While restlessly counting down the days until a performance in the French town of Aigues-Mortes, he becomes strangely convinced that Moira Orfei, a 1960s Italian circus queen, must perform with him. As he begins to turn his displaced creativity and relentless sexual energy on a series of male hustlers, random strangers, and music students, Theo wonders whether he will be able to channel his passions into one final celebration of "the partial, the flawed, the almost, the not quite." Peopled by pianists, prostitutes, muses, and manipulators, this debut novel by noted poet and cultural critic Wayne Koestenbaum hums with obsessive energy and examines one artist's choices at the crossroads of sex, death, and creativity.