In this latest collection of short fiction, Evelyn Lau's elegant prose explores the complexity of human relationships. Though they long to be chosen, the women in Lau's stories are drawn to men they can't have, men whose allure fades the more available they become. The wives and lovers of those men confront each other with a discordant mix of admiration and jealousy.In the novella, "Choose Me," Becky's attraction to Warner is equalled in intensity by her fascination with Annabelle, his aging but still glamorous wife. Zoe, the young poet of "Family," retreats from Douglas when she realizes that their involvement will never rival the "grand passion" he once shared with his wife. In "Suburbia," Belinda is increasingly disgusted by every aspect of her lover, as more and more she comes to see him through his wife's disappointed gaze.With a precise eye and a deft touch, Lau explores the ambiguous motives that propel her characters into emotional and sexual entanglements. Lau's use of language is controlled, and her images sensuously described.From the Trade Paperback edition.
"This is the world of Fresh Girls, where pleasure repeatedly comes from pain and pain is a dreamlike state, a fleeting refuge from reality for these girls teetering between the adult demands and severed innocence of their troubled lives. Ultimately a hard yet sensitive look at the dark side of desire, Fresh Girls And Other Stories is full of personalities yearning to be transformed - like Mary, a dominatrix who fantasizes about her boyfriend while a client begs at her feet; or Jane, burnt out at twenty-four, who dreams of love and marriage but can't resist the feel of crisp fifty-dollar bills; or the girl who goes to bed each night with the spikes of her metal bracelet cutting deep into her flesh; or the young woman who must remain nameless and subservient as she services an elderly gentleman in his cruel yet needy shriveled state." "Writing in a fierce, poetic style, vibrant with energy, Evelyn Lau shows us in a psychological and emotionally truthful way how turning tricks, donning leathers, and wielding a whip can become routine, while love and tenderness seem exotic."
Ten years after the publication of her bestselling memoir Runaway: Diary of a Street Kid, in a collection of eloquent and affecting pieces, Evelyn Lau reflects on her life, her relationships, and her identity as a writer.Moving seamlessly through past and present, Lau describes how her complex, painful relationship with her parents has shaped her adult desires, thwarting her efforts to connect with both men and women. She recalls her dangerous battle with bulimia and examines her continued struggle against crippling depression. Revisiting her life as a prostitute, she explores the extent to which it continues to distort her perception of herself and how others view her. Lau discusses how she now values home and traces this new attitude back to her time on the streets. Above all, she considers her life as a writer, remembering the force with which her childhood passion for writing was once suppressed. She reveals the supreme importance she has come to place on her writing and explains her controversial willingness to breach the boundaries between public and private in the name of art.Beautifully written, each of these pieces is remarkable for its startling honesty, sensitivity, and painful insight. With Inside Out Evelyn Lau, an author of superb poetry and fiction, establishes herself as an accomplished nonfiction writer.From the Hardcover edition.
Fiona, an accomplished young artist, falls in love with Raymond. An older married man. Their haunted relationship evolves in a floating melange of restaurants and hotel rooms against the looming backdrop of their separate, anonymous cities. Although erotically charged, the affair is never consummated - yet the love Fiona feels intensifies into an obsession that continues to possess her long after Raymond leaves her. Along the way, at receptions and restaurant tables, at dinner parties and on trips, Fiona meets other men and women in relationships that are coming together or falling apart-friendships, marriages, love affairs - each offering their own version of love's nature. And, throughout, Raymond's wife Helen holds a central place. For Fiona, Helen herself is "the other woman" - mysterious, enviable and untouchable.From the Hardcover edition.