Thursday, February 13, 2014

"Yokohama Threeway, and Other Small Shames," by Beth Lisick

Beth Lisick is a writer/spoken-word performer/actor/co-founder of the Porchlight Storytelling Series and a figure in the edgier locales of the world of literature. I often heard about her, and occasionally read her shorter works, when she lived here in San Francisco; I understand she has now moved to Brooklyn. Her new book, “Yokohama Threeway, and Other Small Shames” (City Lights, 2013) is a compact collection of humorous and sometimes painful vignettes, a plateful of tidbits and tapas. Lisick is amazingly candid, sharing some pretty embarrassing stories. Because of her self-aware and comic persona, we readers are always on her side, even when we cringe at some of the stories. She is able to wring humor out of the most pedestrian experiences. Titles of the approximately 50 short chapters include (and I am leaving out the most risqué) “Elvis,” “Office Holiday Party,” “It Girl,” “Carole-Induced Zit,” “Crime Scene,” “My Afternoon Date with My Stalker,” “This is Thirty,” and “Retirement Fund.” Yes, she tells us about “small shames,” but in such a human way that we laugh with her and we sympathize.

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