Washington Independent Review of Books

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“Perfume & Pain” with Anna Dorn

Location 14th & V 2021 14th St NW, Washington, District of Columbia, 20009
Date Thursday, May 16, 2024 at 6:30pm - 7:30pm
Duration   1 hours
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"Perfume & Pain" by Anna Dorn is a hilarious and unapologetic homage to 1950s lesbian pulp fiction, following a controversial LA author's attempts to revive her career and find true love. The novel centers around Astrid Dahl, a mid-list author who finds herself in a Zoom writer's group after a career-damaging incident. As she navigates sexy distractions like her grad student love interest Ivy and alluring neighbor Penelope, Astrid receives a chance to adapt her previous novel for TV, reigniting her waning career. However, the pressure leads her to indulge in vices, resulting in blackouts and a disturbing series of events. With its satirical take on Hollywood and lesbian melodrama, infused with Southern California citrus and sultry smokiness, "Perfume & Pain" promises a ribald, steamy, and hilarious romp that reclaims lesbian pulp fiction for the modern, celebrity-obsessed world. Anna Dorn, the author, is an accomplished writer whose works include the novels "Vagablonde" and "Exalted," the latter being a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. As an associate editor at Hobart Pulp and a former Lambda Literary Fellow, Dorn brings her expertise and commitment to LGBTQ and feminist values to this highly anticipated novel. The event, hosted by Busboys and Poets Books on May 16th at 6:30 PM, offers a unique opportunity to engage with Dorn and her work. It is part of the ZAMI gender and sexuality series, which aims to foster community discourse on the intersections of sexuality, gender, race, and human rights by bringing together artists, scholars, and community members. Attending this event promises an entertaining and thought-provoking evening, as Dorn discusses her novel and its exploration of lesbian identity, desire, and the reclamation of pulp fiction tropes. It's a chance to immerse oneself in the vibrant literary scene and support an author who fearlessly celebrates LGBTQ narratives and experiences.

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