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The Voting Booth After Dark: Despicable, Embarrassing, Repulsive Paperback – December 1, 2009

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 92 pages
  • Publisher: Fiat Libertad (December 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0984067701
  • ISBN-13: 978-0984067701
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.2 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,257,530 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
Vanessa Libertad Garcia's first book, The Voting Booth After Dark: Despicable, Embarrassing, Repulsive (Fiat Libertad Co., 2009), is a slim volume of 23 short pieces, some of them poems, many of them first-person or third-person vignettes that capture a few minutes or hours of a given character's "despicable, embarrassing, or repulsive" life.

Gritty and unflinching, the tone of the book is one of desperation and starkness as each character depicted--Marta, a young, disenchanted lesbian; or Diaz Diaz, a gay fashion designer, for example--speaks to us of their heartbreak, alienation, and sometimes of suicidal plans. The personas that Garcia invokes are products of a society that is too fast-paced, too materialistic, and too shallow for twenty-somethings or thirty-somethings trying to find a meaningful niche in life, as they struggle simultaneously to pay bills, be successful in a career, find true love, or simply forge a connection to someone or something outside of themselves that can make their lives fulfilling. Welcome to the underbelly of Los Angeles.

The voices Garcia creates for each of her personas are poignant and heart-wrenching. She describes "sweet-scented one-dimensional images that pop out at you like an early Warhol painting" (in "Longing"). There is little self-pitying though, no sugarcoating of the raw emotions that spill from her characters, many of whom are gay addicts who have seemingly accepted their sex orientations but nevertheless struggle to navigate life.

Matter-of-fact language, which contributes to the non-judgmental tone of the book and its authenticity, is often balanced against poetic descriptions or observations that catch the reader by surprise.
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Format: Paperback
Garcia strikes a raw nerve with her exquisite collection of poems, short stories, and IM conversations about Los Angeles LGBTQ youth circa Election Night 2008. As the various characters bounce around the city and numb their pain with alcohol and drugs, Garcia paints a vivid, unique picture through mixed narratives and harsh self-reflection. Haunting and unforgettable.
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