Jessica Hagedorn Toxicology: A Novel

ISBN 13: 9780143120520

Toxicology: A Novel

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9780143120520: Toxicology: A Novel

"Highly entertaining...[Hagedorn] is an exceptional storyteller."
-The Boston Globe

Jessica Hagedorn's ferociously entertaining new novel centers on two women who are neighbors in Manhattan's West Village: Mimi Smith, a filmmaker whose only screen credit is a notorious low-budget slasher movie, and Eleanor Delacroix, a legendary, scandalous literary figure now nearing eighty. Their personal and artistic lives begin to converge in unexpected ways as Eleanor grieves over the death of her longtime lover, the renowned painter Yvonne Wilder, and as Mimi confronts the challenges presented by the mysterious disappearance of her boyfriend, by her newly sober if still somewhat loopy brother, and by her wayward teenage daughter. Toxicology is a fearless, playful, and savagely funny novel about the collision of art, fame, money, love, desire, and mortality.

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About the Author:

Jessica Hagedorn is the author of the novels Dogeaters and The Gangster of Love, Dream Jungle, and a collection of poetry and short fiction, Danger and Beauty.

From Booklist:

*Starred Review* Keenly alert to the mesh of pop culture and life, audacious, multitalented Hagedorn (Dream Jungle, 2003) investigates New Yorks art and film mystique in an edgy, speedy tale that launches with the shocking death of a Heath Ledgerlike actor. Chaos-on-wheels and flat-broke filmmaker Mimi joins the crowd gathering on the street outside his brownstone, tiny video camera in hand. A stylish slasher film earned her some cachet, but shes now desperate. Her dealer-lover has vanished, and shes out of cocaine. Her intractable 14-year-old daughter has left her father to move in with Mimi and her dying dog, and Mimis alcoholic brother, Carmelo, is certain that their cousin Agnes, an illegal immigrant, has been murdered. Time to call on Mimis wealthy, gin-besotted cokehead neighbor across the hall. Eleanor, 80, is a reclusive cult writer infamous for her lesbian erotica. Mourning the death of her lover, Yvonne, a famous painter, she is surprised to be experiencing a modest revival. As angry, foulmouthed, and jittery Mimi runs amok and Eleanor confronts the obdurate facts of old age, Hagedorn flashes back to their traumatic pasts of ostracism and political violence. Out of jump cuts and close-ups, Hagedorn has composed a jazzy, stingingly smart tragicomedy of toxic substances, hate, and delusions; hustle and creativity; obsession and passion. --Donna Seaman

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