From Publishers Weekly
In this slim volume of 10 essays, author, journalist and translator Benderson (The Romanian: Story of an Obsession) addresses a range of issues including passion and devotion, death and disease, art and the internet. Pieces such as "The Spider Woman's Mother" and "The Not-So-Secret Life of Consuela Cosmetic" profile unique individuals: the former introduces Argentine novelist Manuel Puig, author of The Kiss of the Spider Woman; the latter centers on a "moment of reckoning" for a transsexual dying of AIDS. Focusing on the universal qualities of the obscure and overlooked, Benderson highlights the essential humanity of his subjects, an approach that's just shy of challenging, and should jar readers into relating to and reconsidering "the other." The author, who divides his time between New York City and Paris, also includes more personal work, such as his fascination with Times Square before it became "a theme park for tourists"; delving into his experiences there in the mid-1980s, Benderson hangs out with male prostitutes, courts ex-cons, "financially supports a throwaway child" and experiments with drugs. These and other details help make Benderson's essays as vital as they are stubbornly honest.
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About the Author
Bruce Benderson is the author of seven books, including The Romanian: Story of an Obsession, User, and Pretending to Say No. He has contributed articles to the New York Times Magazine, Village Voice, nest, Paris Vogue, Blackbook, Libération, and other media. An accomplished translator and bilingual author, he has also taught creative writing, urban culture, and French literature at colleges throughout the United States. He divides his time between New York and Paris.
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