Bruce Benderson

Urban Gothic: The Complete Stories

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Bruce Benderson's taut, gorgeously told texts illuminate American subcultures.

For more than five decades, with relentless candor, biting wit, and striking imagery, Bruce Benderson's fiction has celebrated the warped beauty of our megalopolises, including their clashes between the classes and their subcultures of sex and drugs. Oppressed but flamboyant, the voices of his subterranean worlds have become just too intense to be ignored.

Now, for the first time, all his short texts, including 21 never before published, appear together in the same volume. Included is one of the first post-Stonewall coming out stories, written in 1970, decades before such narratives developed into a full genre. This, then, is the complete and definitive Bruce Benderson reader.

Benderson's most well-known book, The Romanian: Story of an Obsession (Tarcher, 2006), was awarded the prestigious Prix de Flore in its French edition. Other publications include the essay collection Sex and Isolation (University of Wisconsin Press, 2007), the novels Pacific Agony (Semiotext(e), 2009) and User (Dutton Adult, 1994), and the story collection Pretending to Say No (Plume, 1990).

Author: Bruce Benderson

Hardcover  Published September 2022  682 pages

"The book's not squeamish about fetishizing desperation. Its most vivid passages center the description of different narrators' objects of obsession, typically possessing a gaunt beauty marked by substance abuse."--Mousse Magazine

"Incorrigibly attuned to the contradictions of bourgeois society and its mores."--Interview Magazine

Praise for Bruce Benderson:

"Crazed, exhilarating reading... Taut, driven, culturally astute, politically cranky and packed with Oscar Wilde-worthy epigrams."--Michael Upchurch, The Seattle Times

"What astonishes and intrigues is Benderson's way of recounting, in the sweetest possible voice, things that are considered shocking."--Josyane Savigneau, Le Monde

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