| Henrik List
HISTORIER FRA AMERIKA Fiction
225 pages Ten hard-boiled, personal and realistic prose texts from a young European's voyage of discovery through America. From the mid-80s to the mid-90s. From the hot spots of the major cities to the sleepy provincial backwaters. From the first euphoric meeting with this fascinating country to an overdose of Americana. From dream to nightmare - at full throttle.
Ten stories from the other side of the American dream, reflected in neon signs and swimming pools, cowboy heroes and porn films, media fantasies and midnight paranoia - an America fueled by sex, drugs and hip hop beats.
This collection of short stories, following a young Danes' sex, drugs & rock'n'roll-trip to the heart of the American darkness - through sleazy underworlds, paranoic visions, dusty dead-end roads, endless hang-overs (and hard-ons!), cocaine fuelled jetset-parties, violent confrontations, nauseating anxiety attacks, low-life stripjoints and Skid Row bars - takes on the universe of a William T. Vollmann, a Charles Bukowski, a Dennis Johnson or a Hubert Selby Jr. with a uniquely European perspective.
"Pussyland" contains ten stories from contemporary America in the 1980's and 90's, as seen through the both naive and streetsmart eyes of a young European trying to find himself in the cracked mirrors of seedy motel rooms; searching for the soul of the American Dream/Nightmare in neon jungles, ghetto slums, desert towns, Wild West vistas and suburban limbos:
In the title story the young narrator discovers the sweet, semen smelling secrets of 42nd. Street in the good old bad days, and has a hot experience with a black girl in a peep show booth - while incidentally being on his honeymoon in New York City with his wife.
"Mickey & Me."
Miami's South Beach in the late 80's is a hotbed of gay bikers and cocaine cowboys, fucked up drag queens and burned out movie stars who wants to become professional boxers, when the narrator arrives to a hipster hood of blinding sunshine, long sweaty nights and crumbling art deco - and meets his hero Mickey Rourke.
"New Year's Night 1988, New York".
Looking for a friend who didn't show up at the JFK Airport in a both hostile and fascinating New York. A stranger alone in the big city on a cold, snowy New Year's Night in 1988 that turned out to be a lot more exciting than he had ever hoped - or feared.
On a hopeless quest for the mythological Wild West in the contemporary Midwest (with a bag of good Columbian cocaine in the pocket of his leatherjacket!) the narrator ends up finding the true pioneer spirit among young punks in a squatted warehouse in Omaha, Nebraska, helped by a homeless girl and a handful of magic mushrooms.
An homage to Charles Bukowski - by the way of fucking one of the famous American writers' former girlfriends in Los Angeles. Where trying to learn to surf, hanging out in the notorious Club Fuck, dreaming of selling a script to Hollywood and meeting a very beautiful, Asian boy also plays an important role.
"Hardcore - American Snapshots".
A flow of short prose texts; raw, funny and poetic glimpses of urban American life on the wild side.
Playing the roulette, getting high and meeting a Chinese hooker in Vegas, coming down hard in the desert and living through an earthquake in San Fernando Valley.
"How Niggers Build the Pyramids to Control White People with Evil Rays."
Face to face with a weird mixture of sexual perversion and brutal racism on a humid and hallucinatory Mardi Gras night in New Orleans, where the narrator gets an alternative history lesson in a seedy bar from a crank-crazed man named Billy... Bob... Shane.
"One Bomb Just Isn't Enough".
A mental breakdown in a cheap motel in Oklahoma City, on the run from a girl in a different country and a debt in a Memphis blues bar, on the way from coast to coast with windshield-wipers that doesn't work and a cold turning into something really bad. An apocalyptic phantasy of hate, violence and big scale destruction in Mainstreet USA!
"76 Countries and 17 motels".
The narrator at the end of the road, on Route 66 in the slums of Albuquerque, under pressure from a mad Indian motel owner who wants a Danish wife, a redhead lolita hooker waiting for her boyfriend, and an escaped, armed convict on the run from the law.
WHAT THE PRESS SAID:
"Henrik List writes so the sparks fly. You never feel quite safe, and as a result the book excites enormously. It succeeds well as literature."
- Nikolaj M. Lassen, Weekendavisen
"The book should rest on a shelf alongside a half-emptied bottle of Jack Daniels, a VHS tape of Taxi Driver and a worn-out Charles Bukowski paperback. When it's been read, that is."
Tonny Vorm, B.T.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Henrik List (b. 1965) has, as a journalist and author, traveled in and written about America, its culture and its myths, for the past 15 years. Pussyland is his first work of fiction.
Henrik List has written travel books on London and Los Angeles, as well as a book on the Beat Generation in Tangier, and most recently a collection of articles entitled Deadline 2000 - Remix from the 90s (1999) on the music, cinema and literature of the 20th century.