I know Ann. I knew she had written a Bukowski-esque novel. It hadn't occured to me that the book was based on events in her life.
Fleeing the boredom of the tinsel town fringe, she lands a job as an exotic dancer and falls for Adam, lead guitarist of the popular thrash band Z, six feet four inches of raw talent, stud beauty, and unrestrained ego. Thus begins a droll and harrowing ride through the underworld of Los Angeles strip clubs, dive bars, and drug motels that sends her to a mental hospital, where she is astutely classified as a ‘bolt risk,’ a kid who is very likely to escape. Here the author recreates the absurd daily world of Girl, Interrupted with a remarkable toughness that laughs in the face of institutional horror.
Okay, I didn't know she was a stripper in Hollywood. I didn't know she had been committed.
I have looked and looked for the John Buffalo Mailer review of Bolt Risk online - that's the one I read in the hallway of the yoga studio (the building also houses Leapfrog Press). It was brilliant. He talks about how she picked a fight with him and then drank him under the table.
I can see that.
There are other reviews here.
So I finish reading about this woman I know and all her addictions and dark secrets (are they still secrets when you write a semi-autographical book about them?) and I look at the time and walk to the end of the hall where I take off my shoes and go into a room filled with new age music. I pack the kids in the car - the kids who take yoga and will probably take up cello - and drive through one of the most quaint, rose-bestrewn, towns you'll ever see. A town where you just might find yourself chatting up an exotic dancer who can turn a phrase.