In Alissa Nutting’s novel Tampa, Celeste Price, a smoldering 26-year-old middle-school teacher in Florida, unrepentantly recounts her elaborate and sociopathically determined seduction of a 14-year-old student.
Celeste has chosen and lured the charmingly modest Jack Patrick into her web. Jack is enthralled and in awe of his eighth-grade teacher, and, most importantly, willing to accept Celeste’s terms for a secret relationship—car rides after dark, rendezvous at Jack’s house while his single father works the late shift, and body-slamming erotic encounters in Celeste’s empty classroom. In slaking her sexual thirst, Celeste Price is remorseless and deviously free of hesitation, a monstress of pure motivation. She deceives everyone, is close to no one, and cares little for anything but her pleasure.
Tampa is a sexually explicit, virtuosically satirical, American Psycho–esque rendering of a monstrously misplaced but undeterrable desire. Laced with black humor and crackling sexualized prose, Alissa Nutting’s Tampa is a grand, seriocomic examination of the want behind student / teacher affairs and a scorching literary debut.
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From one of our most exciting and provocative young writers, a poignant, riotously funny story of how far some will go for love—and how far some will go to escape it.
Hazel has just moved into a trailer park of senior citizens, with her father and Diane—his extremely lifelike sex doll—as her roommates. Life with Hazel’s father is strained at best, but her only alternative seems even bleaker. She’s just run out on her marriage to Byron Gogol, CEO and founder of Gogol Industries, a monolithic corporation hell-bent on making its products and technologies indispensable in daily life. For over a decade, Hazel put up with being veritably quarantined by Byron in the family compound, her every movement and vital sign tracked. But when he demands to wirelessly connect the two of them via brain chips in a first-ever human “mind-meld,” Hazel decides what was once merely irritating has become unbearable. The world she escapes into is a far cry from the dry and clinical bubble she’s been living in, a world populated with a whole host of deviant oddballs.
As Hazel tries to carve out a new life for herself in this uncharted territory, Byron is using the most sophisticated tools at his disposal to find her and bring her home. His threats become more and more sinister, and Hazel is forced to take drastic measures in order to find a home of her own and free herself from Byron’s virtual clutches once and for all. Perceptive and compulsively readable, Made for Love is at once an absurd, raunchy comedy and a dazzling, profound meditation marriage, monogamy, and family.
Throughout these breathtakingly creative seventeen stories spread across time, space, and differing planes of reality, we encounter a host of women and girls in a wide range of unusual jobs. A space cargo deliverywoman enlists the help of her cybersex partner to release her mother from cryogenic prison. Desperate for affection and a more lavish lifestyle, a young woman falls under the corrosive spell of the fashion model for whom she’s given up everything to assist. A woman submits to a procedure that will turn her body into a futuristic ant farm, only to discover the sinister plans of her doctor.
Though the settings these women find themselves in are as shocking and unique as they come, the emotional battles they face are searing and real. Some are trying to fight their way out of the cycle of abuse, while others must cope with the anguish brought on by infertility or the aftershocks of an abortion. Still others confront and embrace their most depraved desires, carving out power for themselves in worlds that relentlessly ask for conformity.
Wickedly funny yet ringing with deep truths about gender, authority and the ways we inhabit and restrict the female body, Unclean Jobs for Women and Girls is a brilliant commentary on the kaleidoscope of human behavior and a remarkably nuanced satire for our times.