Cherry Vanilla, twelve years old with a penchant for short leather skirts and make-up, has one ambition: to become the most famous 'lot lizard', or truck stop whore, in the business. With his blonde curls and naked ambition he is determined to be more woman than most and to match his idol, rival and mother, Sarah - also working the lot. Cherry is recruited by Glad - the most sophisticated pimp there is. Glad dresses his boys in the finest silk from China, feeds them gourmet food and teaches them to tell what a trucker wants by the look in his eye. It is only when Sarah leaves Glad's protection that he discovers just how perilous his chosen profession can be.
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"Sarah is weird, darkly funny and haunting. JT LeRoy has a gift, to be able to articulate his world so clearly and astringently, with grace and humor, but without glossing over the pain and brutality of it."--Suzanne Vega
"J.T. LeRoy's Sarah is a revelation. It makes you realize how overused words like original and inspired have become. LeRoy's writing has a passion, economy, emotional depth, and lyric beauty so authentic that it seems to bypass every shopworn standard we've learned to expect of contemporary fiction. This is a novel gripped by an intense, gorgeous, yet strangely refined imagination, and its experience is unforgettable."--Dennis Cooper, author of All Ears
"This book glows with perverse imagination and linguistic prowess. It hypnotized me. I couldn't help entering its magical world or surrendering to its desperate, comic characters. These truckers, their prostitutes and their pimps are on hilariously ruthless survival trips, but even so, they are full of humanity. The protagonist is a brilliant, resourceful adolescent set adrift in a world of grifters, and he is unforgettably touching and poetic."--Bruce Benderson, author of James Bidgood
"Like a cross between Nathanial West and Mark Twain, drunk out of their minds and collaborating on Charlie's Angel's meets The Headless Horseman--Sarah is a wildly comic tour de force and a brilliant debut."--Mary Gaitskill, author of Two Girls, Fat and Thin
"I am profoundly impressed by this amazing, absolutely brilliant new young writer, this J.T. LeRoy. His first novel is one of the most beautiful, shocking, disturbing pieces of fiction I've seen years. You won't believe it until you've read it. It makes Bastard Out of Carolina seem like a day at the beach. But like that book, it too is crafted from careful, perfect language and buoyed up by a spirit so strong as to draw tears from my eyes."-Lewis Nordan, author of Lightning Song
"Jeremy LeRoy writes like Flannery O'Conner tied to the bed and plied with angel dust. Sarah is an exhilarating, hysterical and beautifully written disturbing novel. Whatever young LeRoy had to live through to write a book like this, we're lucky he's here. An off-the-map brilliant, brutally funny debut...'--Jerry Stahl, author of Perv: A Love Story and Permanent Midnight
Sarah never admits that she’s his mother, but the beautiful boy has watched her survive as a “lot lizard”: a prostitute working the West Virginia truck stops. Desperate to win her love, he decides to surpass her as the best and most famous lot lizard ever. With his own leather mini-skirt and a makeup bag that closes with Velcro, the young “Cherry Vanilla” embarks on a journey through the Appalachian wilds, dining on transcendental cuisine, supplicating to the mystical Jackalope, encountering the most terrifying of pimps, walking on water, being venerated as an innocent girl saint—and then being denounced as the devil. By turns exhilarating and shocking, magical and realistic, Sarah brings urgency, wit, and imagination to an unknown and unforgettable world.
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