A dirty-minded Holly Golightly invades modern Manhattan, in New York Press columnist Sohn's interesting (if overdone) debut. "I was only twenty-two and already I was infamous," says Ariel Steiner, who, like many young people, has an exaggerated notion of her own malevolence. Ariel is basically a nice Jewish girl, a JAP from Brooklyn who managed to get into Brown and carry home the fancy goyish diploma that would make Mama and Papa proud. An aspiring actress who has had an agent since about the time of her bat mitzvah, Ariel comes home with big plans for making a name on stage, but life has a way of slipping off our maps, and Ariel ends up making her name in quite a different direction. At an audition for a rock musical based on Lolita ("Lolita: Rock On"), she's asked to write her own scene for rehearsal and responds with a rather vivid monologue entitled "Vanya in My Vulva," followed up by a piece called "Shooting Wad and Movies." The director is impressed enough to recommend publication, and Ariel submits her material to an alternative weekly called City Week. The next thing you know, Ariel has a weekly column ("Run Catch Kiss") that treats her sex life with about as much irony as the teen mags extend to Leo DiCaprio and Prince Wills. Anyone who has read Sohn's real-life column (—Female Trouble—) will recognize many of the boyfriends and positions described here in such loving detail, although this is not a rehash in the usual sense of the word. Rather, it is offered as a portrait of a woman on the loose, someone who hangs out at louche nightspots on the Lower East Side and obsesses about finding the perfect guy. If it all sounds like something of an insider's story, it isn't—though it's probably meant to be. Strictly for the already converted: Sohn's fans won't be disappointed, but it's unlikely that their ranks will swell.
Read full book review >