PARADOXIA by Lydia Lunch


A Predator’s Diary
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Hellion’s diary of a troubled life as hunter and despiser of men.

Lunch, a musician, writer and photographer, was a grimy and dark princess during drug-haunted Manhattan’s nihilistic No Wave movement of the early ’80s. Here she recounts time spent amidst the artists, scenesters, druggies and occasional murderers who made up acquaintance. Lunch was spurred to sexual aggression by a childhood of abuse in upstate New York, and later into nympho-maniacal behavior and rampant drugging. “New York City did not corrupt me,” she writes. “I was drawn to it because I had already been corrupted.” She hated men but flung herself at them, the worse the better. Reproducing the pathology of abuse, the cycle of pain received and inflicted, she grabbed and discarded with abandon, making a specialty of deflowering 14-year-old boys. The pell-mell prose gives the book an immediacy that’s hard to shake, and Lunch’s headlong plunge into manic devastation and corruption at times recalls the better work of William S. Burroughs. No wonder that Hubert Selby Jr., author of Last Exit to Brooklyn, was a mentor of sorts to this evil angel of extremes. As Sonic Youth front-man Thurston Moore (another No Wave vet) puts it in his blank verse afterword, “She can lure fascist beasts to honey with a whiff of her thigh. She can eviscerate them in their own hideous pools of selfish shame.”

Frantic and overdone, but strangely honest rantings from a modern-day Genet.

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2007
ISBN: 978-1-933354-35-4
Page count: 160pp
Publisher: Akashic
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1st, 2007