Barbara the Slut and Other People
‘Astonishing – one of those rare books that manages to be both poignant and hilarious. The last time we had a debut this big was Junot Díaz with ‘Drown’. Holmes is a major talent.’ Philipp MeyerA fresh, honest, and darkly funny debut collection about family, friends, and lovers, and the flaws that make us most human.One woman takes a job selling sex toys in San Francisco rather than embark on the law career she pursued only for the sake of her father. Another realises she much prefers the company of her pit bull — and herself — to the neurotic foreign fling who won’t decamp from her apartment. A daughter hauls a suitcase of lingerie to Mexico for her flighty, estranged mother to resell there, wondering whether her personal mission — to come out — is worth the same effort. And Barbara, a young woman with an autistic brother, a Princeton acceptance letter, and a love of sex navigates her high school’s toxic, slut-shaming culture with open eyes.Fearless, candid, and incredibly funny, Lauren Holmes is a newcomer who writes like a master. She tackles eros and intimacy with a deceptively light touch, a keen awareness of how their nervous systems tangle and sometimes short-circuit, and a genius for revealing our most vulnerable, spirited selves. With heart, sass, and pitch-perfect characters, BARBARA THE SLUT is a head-turning debut from a writer with a limitless career before her.
Christopher Ragland, Madeleine Rose