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Trade paper
ISBN 978-1-57344-255-8
5.5 x 8, 144 pages


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My Girlfriend Comes to the City and Beats Me Up

“I can’t think of a more courageous writer than Stephen Elliott. At the center of these stories of his degradations is, I think, a rare kind of love. He is beaten until he weeps so that he can be held while he cries. But this book isn’t all pathos and blood and sex—it’s also very funny. So Stephen Elliott can do it all—he can freak you out and he can make you laugh. What more could you want from a writer?”—Jonathan Ames, author of Wake Up, Sir!


Fiction or memoir? Stephen Elliott’s blistering new collection inhabits a mysterious area in between. As with all his work, these stories have the raw ring of truth filtered through Elliott’s downbeat poetic sensibility. No subject is too controversial, no image too taboo to put to paper in these brilliant first-person narratives. Acclaimed by the New York Times, Elliott here confirms his status as a major young writer of a kind of literary fiction that recalls the work of Genet and Bukowski.

"Stephen Elliott knocks my fishnet stockings off." —Audrey Niffenegger, author of The Time Traveler's Wife

"Any true love story, if told with the urgency and animal intelligence of love, isn't for the fainthearted. On every page of this profound, distilled work of art, Stephen Elliott wrestles with the unknown and unspoken essences of love, and articulates that unknown so beautifully, with such clear-eyed fearlessness… Imagine a glass of pure water with one drop of blood hanging in its center, about to dissolve… Then drink it and be transformed." —Nick Flynn, author of Another Bullshit Night in Suck City

STEPHEN ELLIOTT is the author of five books including Happy Baby, a finalist for the New York Public Library’s Young Lion Award as well as a best book of 2004 in, Newsday, Chicago New City, the Journal News, and the Village Voice. His work has been featured in Esquire, the New York Times, GQ, Best American Non-Required Reading, Best American Erotica, and Best Sex Writing 2006. He is the founder of the Progressive Reading Series and the executive director of LitPAC, a literary political action committee. He lives in San Francisco. Visit him at

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Read an interview with Stephen Elliott

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