Why did I love this book?
The fact that this queer masterpiece was written entirely in the solitude of a prison cell is only the first of many awe-inspiring truths about the book and its author. The drag queen Divine, a pimp named Darling Daintyfoot and Our Lady populate the book (published in 1943) offering a glimpse into a voluptuous Parisian fringe world. It was the thrilling—at times disturbing—story that first drew me in as a budding writer, but ultimately it was my realization that a book can be at once highly artful and literary as well as deeply erotic. It opened up a new freedom that I draw on every day as a novelist.