The vel version of the intricate cultural criticism that koestenbaum is famous for. Five years of breakdown separate pianist Theo Mangrove's last recital in Europe from his planned comeback in Aigues-Mortes, The Town of Dead Water. At home in tiny East Kills, NY, Theo begins jotting in 25 tebooks, purchased all at once and addressed to his mother. Theo's wife, aside from servicing two of Theo's 20 daily erections, will have thing to do with him. The other eighteen - taken care of by male hustlers, random strangers in YMCA locker-rooms and naked pia students - contribute to Theo's sense of dissolution as his comeback approaches. Overcome with the belief that Moira Orfei, queen of the Italian circus during the 1960's, must perform with him, Theo begins to write to her and to pen what may or may t be her cryptic replies into his tebooks. In a fugue of tes and troubling memories, Theo prepares for Aigues-Mortes, struggling with Moira's guidance towards one final, full celebration of the partial, the flawed, the almost, the t quite. Peopled by pia-playing relatives, prostitutes, muses and manipulators, poet and cultural critic Wayne Koestenbaum's first vel shines a hot light on the treacherous crossroads of sex, death, family and popular culture.
Wayne Koestenbaum is the author of four collections of poetry and various works of cultural criticism, including The Queen's Throat (a National Book Critics Circle Award Finalist), and Jackie Under My Skin: Interpreting an Icon. He lives in New York City.