Catherine Liu NEWS
New York of the eighties: a time and a place where money is the most powerful intoxicant, glamour demands the embrace of excess, and cocaine evokes only the shadow of a risky proposition’s sharp high. While fortunes are being made in Soho galleries and on Wall Street, an underclass of transients-drag queens and dandies, club kids and strippers, artists and actors/models/wait staff circulate through the streets, serving as the city’s background color, cheap labor, and sleazy entertainment. The unnamed narrator of Oriental Girls Desire Romance, a young Chinese American woman, is a sharp and eloquent wit who skirts the edges of privilege and privation in this, New York’s own floating world. A refugee from the neuroses of an Ivy League education and a family of Maoist ideologues, she is also a recovering theory junkie who prefers her hits of reality straight up. Navigating the demimonde of New York as slacker, temp, and exotic dancer, she outmaneuvers the easy answers of Prozac or reform in a voice that is at once perceptive, hilarious, and refreshingly unhinged.
“I couldn’t put Oriental Girls Desire Romance down…. I thank [Catherine Liu] for this book.”
— Kathy Acker, author of Blood and Guts in High School