From Publishers Weekly
Billed by her publisher as "literary erotica," Arcan's semi-autobiographical debut novel is an unremittingly ugly rant by a precocious, petulant daughter against the silent, bedridden mother who didn't love her enough and the devoted, God-fearing father who loved her too much. Born in a small Canadian frontier town near the border with Maine and raised in a fanatically Catholic community there, Arcan's good-girl, savagely self-destructive narrator moves to Montreal to attend college. As her studies drag on, she grows increasingly fascinated by the city's XXX shops. Without really understanding why, she answers an ad placed by a high-end escort service, takes 'Cynthia' as her whore-name and starts to make a lucrative career of her previously unprofitable self-loathing and nihilism. The novel itself is a series of hateful tirades that, although bitter, raunchy and repetitive, occasionally offer up some pointed insights. "I didn't become a whore with the first client," Cynthia explains. "No, it was long before that, during the figure skating and tap dancing of my childhood, in the fairy tales where you had to be the most beautiful and sleep yourself to distraction." In the end, though, it's impossible to feel any real sympathy for a raging misanthrope who crows with no small pride that "there's too much hate in me for a single head" or, some might argue, for a single book. Agent, Georges Borchardt.
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