This blistering new collection from literary rising star Stephen Elliott demonstrates once again why his books have been praised as graceful, soaring, and fearless. As with all of Elliotts work, these stories have the raw ring of truth filtered through the authors downbeat-poetic sensibility. My Girlfriend Comes to the City and Beats Me Up follows the narrator on a dizzying ride through past and present, from a group home for troubled adolescents in Chicago where he loses his virginity to shooting galleries and homeless encampments in San Francisco where he searches for deeper and darker thrills. In Other Desires, a flood of unsettling memories backgrounds the narrators involvement with a loose-knit family of lost souls. Tears explores the disturbing complexities of an S/M Internet hook-up. Several of the stories feature the enigmatic Eden, the narrators polyamorous mistress. With My Girlfriend, Elliott confirms his status as a major young writer of a kind of literary fiction that recalls the work of Genet and Bukowski.
"An amazing and beautiful and powerful book.... I can't think of a more courageous writer than Stephen Elliott. At the center of these stories of his degradations is, I think, a rare kind of love. He is beaten until he weeps so that he can be held while he cries. But this book isn't all pathos and blood and sex -- it's also very funny. So Stephen Elliott can do it all -- he can freak you out and he can make you laugh. What more could you want from a writer?"
-- Jonathan Ames, author of Wake Up, Sir!
"[Elliott is] a master of muted prose.... He conveys unmet yearning with a poignancy that is universal."
-- San Francisco Chronicle
"Stephen Elliott knocks my fishnet stockings off."
-- Audrey Niffenegger, author of The Time Traveler's Wife
"There's an emotional courage to these stories, and a sense of urgency, that are thrilling to encounter. Elliott writes as if his life depended on each sentence."
-- The Believer
"[A] profound, distilled work of artdrink it and be transformed."
-- Nick Flynn, author of Another Bullshit Night in Suck City
"Stephen Elliott describes the sexual and emotional terrain in a voice that is at once feral and sweet, straightforward and complicated, devastating and funny as hell."
-- San Francisco Bay Guardian
Paperback: 168 pages
Publisher: Cleis Press; First Edition edition (October 2, 2006)