Some women shop. Some eat. Dora cures the blues by bingeing on books—reading one after another, from Flaubert to bodice rippers, for hours and days on end. In this wickedly funny and sexy literary debut, we meet the beguiling, beautiful Dora, whose unique voice combines a wry wit and vulnerability as she navigates the road between reality and fiction.
Dora, named after Eudora Welty, is an indiscriminate book junkie whose life has fallen apart—her career, her marriage, and finally her self-esteem. All she has left is her love of literature, and the book benders she relied on as a child. Ever since her larger-than-life father wandered away and her book-loving, alcoholic mother was left with two young daughters, Dora and her sister, Virginia, have clung to each other, enduring a childhood filled with literary pilgrimages instead of summer vacations. Somewhere along the way Virginia made the leap into the real world. But Dora isn’t quite there yet. Now she’s coping with a painful separation from her husband, scraping the bottom of a dwindling inheritance, and attracted to a seductive book-seller who seems to embody all that literature has to offer—intelligent ideas, romance, and an escape from her problems.
Joining Dora in her odyssey is an elderly society hair-brusher, a heartbroken young girl, a hilarious off-the-wall female teamster, and Dora’s mother, now on the wagon, trying to make amends. Along the way Dora faces some powerful choices. Between two irresistible men. Between idleness and work. And most of all between the joy of well-chosen words and the untidiness of real people and real life.
From the Hardcover edition.
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|Title of Family & Relationships eBook: Literacy and Longing in L.A.|
|Release Date: 05-30-2006|
|Allowed Countries (hover)|
|Publisher: Random House Publishing Group|
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Literacy and Longing in L.A.
Master of the Universe
"All the best stories in the world are but one story in reality, the story of escape. It is the only thing which interests us all and at all times, how to escape."
-Arthur Christopher Benson (1862-1925) -
Women do different things when they're depressed. Some smoke, others drink, some call their therapists, some eat. My mother used to go ballistic when she and my father had a fight, then she'd booze for days on end and vanish into her bedroom. My sister was more into the global chill mode; give 'em the silent treatment and, in the meantime, gorge on frozen Sara Lee banana cake. And I do what I have always done-go off on a book bender that can last for days.
I fall into this state for different reasons. Sometimes it's after an "I hate your fucking guts" fight. Other times it's symptomatic of my state of mind, ennui up to my ears, my life gone awry, and that feeling of dread whenever I'm asked what I'm doing. How can anyone sort all this out? All things considered, I'd rather read. It's the perfect escape.
I have a whole mantra for my book binges. First of all, I open a bottle of good red wine. Then I turn off my cell phone, turn on my answering machine, and gather all the books I've been meaning to read or reread and haven't. Finally, I fill up the tub with thirty-dollar bubble bath, fold a little towel at the end of the tub so it just fits in the crick of my neck, and turn on my music. I have an old powder-blue plastic Deco radio near the tub that I bought at a garage sale in Hollywood a few years ago. The oddest thing: the radio only receives one AM radio station, which plays jazz standards from the forties