Toxicology: Book summary and reviews of Toxicology by Jessica Hagedorn

Toxicology

A Novel

by Jessica Hagedorn

Toxicology by Jessica Hagedorn
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  • Published in USA  Apr 2011
    240 pages
    Genre: Novels

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Book Summary

Jessica Hagedorn's edgy and entertaining new novel centers on the lives of two women who are neighbors in Manhattan's West Village. Mimi Smith is a filmmaker of low-budget slasher movies in search of new material. Her neighbor Eleanor Delacroix is a legendary writer of erotic fiction, now nearing eighty and addicted to cocaine and gin.

Their personal and artistic lives begin to collide in unexpected ways as Eleanor grieves over the recent death of her live-in lover, the renowned painter Yvonne Wilder, and as Mimi deals with the challenges presented by her newly sober brother Carmelo; her drug-dealing boyfriend, who has mysteriously disappeared; and her wayward fourteen-year-old daughter, Violet. Looming over all these characters is the ghost of Agnes - an "illegal" and cousin of Mimi's who might have been murdered by her New Jersey employers. Toxicology is a dark yet playful exploration of money, desire, mortality, and the connection between creativity and self-destruction.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. A razor-sharp, refreshingly unsentimental portrayal of New York artists - selfish, irresponsible, and brilliant - and the evolution of feminism." - Publishers Weekly

"This is an eclectic mix of differing voices, dream sequences, interviews, and snippets of memoir, as well as straight narrative all overlaid with Hagedorn's darkly humorous perspective... Recommended for readers of edgy, urban fiction." - Library Journal

"A peek into a peculiarly alluring world of art, fame and mortality." - Kirkus Reviews

"Starred Review. Out of jump cuts and close-ups, Hagedorn has composed a jazzy, stingingly smart tragicomedy of toxic substances, hate, and delusions; hustle and creativity; obsession and passion." - Booklist

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More Information

More Information

Jessica Hagedorn, novelist, poet, and playwright, was born and raised in the Philippines and moved to America in her teens. Her books include the novels Dogeaters (a finalist for a National Book Award and the recipient of an American Book Award), The Gangster of Love, and Dream Jungle (a New York Times Notable Book), and Danger and Beauty, a collection of selected poetry and short fiction. She was the editor of the Asian American fiction anthology Charlie Chan Is Dead. She lives in New York City.

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