LOVE ME TENDER by Catherine Texier


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A kaleidoscope of prose/poetry and photo-real images, this first English-language novel by French-Canadian Texier offers a sexy, mannered tale of love and ambition in N.Y.C.'s hip Lower East Side. The turmoils of three women weave through Texier's episodic tale. There's Lulu, a young, aimless Frenchwoman who dances/strips at a cool nightclub and who's prone to dark thoughts (""I am a hole"") and to clipping atrocity reports from newspapers. And there are her two older friends: kind and jaded Mystique, who dances with Lulu; and Salvine, another Frenchwoman, wealthy and bizarre. As the novel opens, Lulu meets a pale junkie poet, Julian, at a party; they leave together and have sex on the Williamsburg Bridge. (""Hot summer night. Nipples erect, hard, hard. . ."" and so on.) During the day, Lulu shares her thoughts with Mystique and Salvine (who, unknown to Lulu, is also having sex--S-M variety--with Julian); during the night, she shares her bed with Julian or another lover, successful older artist Henry--until Mario shows up. Mario, a macho Puerto Rican drug dealer, barges his way into Lulu's life and eventually whisks her off to a sordid vacation in Mexico (colorfully detailed via Lulu's diary entries), where she becomes pregnant. Back in the States, Lulu has an abortion, while Mario broods and Mystique recovers from her mom's death. One night, Julian, who's sick of Salvine's whips, wanders up to Lulu's. As the two have sex, Mario bursts in and throws a fit. Days later, Lulu is stunned to learn that Julian has died of an overdose of drugs supplied by an unknown stranger. Too outrÉ in style and content for many readers; but those open to literary experiment will enjoy Texier's linguistic fireworks and her dead-on depiction of souls adrift in the urban jungle of the 80's.

Pub Date: June 2nd, 1987
Publisher: Penquin