Short Take: Narcisa – Jonathan Shaw

This is the first trade edition of a cult classic by son of the jazz great Artie Shaw. Jonathan Shaw is a “world-traveling outlaw artist, gonzo war-correspondent, novelist, blogger, head doctor, anti-folk hero and whorehouse philosopher, [a] legendary tattoo master and notorious creator of trendsetting underground art.” This novel of a scandalous love affair set on an international stage owes much to the legacy of William Burroughs. Johnny Depp picked it up for his Infinitum Nihil literary imprint and writes,

If Hubert Selby Jr., Charles Bukowski, Ernest Hemingway, Jack Kerouac, William Burroughs, Neil Cassady, Dr. Hunter S. Thompson, the Marquis de Sade, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Joao Gilberto, Edward Teach, Charley Parker, Iggy Pop, Louis-Ferdinand Celine, R. Crumb, Robert Williams, Joe Coleman, Dashiell Hammett, E.M. Cioran and all of the Three Stooges had all been involved in some greasy, shameful, evil whorehouse orgy, Jonathan Shaw would surely be its diabolical, reprobate spawn.”
— Johnny Depp

“I cannot stop talking about this one. Instant favorite. Even the introduction by Lydia Lunch was perfect. I wanted to scream it from the rooftops. Shaw’s prose is phenomenal. His structure illustrates his narrative. The switches between stream of consciousness, to Narcisa screaming, to his more formal choices blend beautifully into the whole. The comparisons to Thompson, Miller, Burroughs, and Bukowski are accurate, and deserved. Shaw’s voice rings out strong and captivating…. He cuts into the seedy, dark, drugged underground with a deft hand and pulls out the meat of wanting and desire…. Narcisa jumps off the page, walks around your living room and screams until you hate her, love her, want to buy her the world, and simultaneously banish her to the moon. I am just head over heels for this book. It is a masterpiece.”
— Brittany Jackson, Joseph-Beth Booksellers, Lexington, KY

“Shaw’s writing is one hell of a wild ride through the bizarre netherworld of his own damaged consciousness. His experiences are real and his language and insights kinetic and brutal… Shaw’s writing certifies him as a subversive and criminal inhabitant of the world of human expression.”
— Jim Jarmusch

Narcisa: Our Lady of Ashes (9780062354990) by Jonathan Shaw. $16.99 trade paper. 3/24/15 on sale.

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