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TARA JEPSEN discusses her book LIKE A DOG with MICHELLE TEA

Like a Dog (City Light Publishing)

A scrappy young skateboarder's story of underground worlds and fringe existences, confusing family relationships and the struggle for intimacy.

Paloma is aimlessly winging it through life. A skateboarder in her early 30s, she takes low-paying jobs, drinks neon-colored wine coolers in the park with her best friend, and drives to the Central Valley to skate the empty swimming pools dotting the sun-blasted landscape. Paloma struggles to have a relationship with her brother Peter, whose opiate addiction makes that nearly impossible. She enjoys occasional doses of something like closeness whenever Peter is sober, and these rare moments keep her lunging for his affections. Her delusions about the nature of addiction—along with a steady intake of alcohol—manage to keep the looming threat of his death by overdose at a comfortable enough distance.

When Peter lands a lucrative position managing a pot farm in Mendocino County, he offers Paloma a job. She shines in her new role, selling weed to celebrities in Los Angeles and making good money for the first time. With a new sense of self-confidence she decides to try out the world of stand-up comedy, and though she's absolutely terrible at it, she's happier than she's ever been. As Peter slides into a dangerous spiral, Paloma does her best to roll with the ups and downs, life's beginnings and endings.

Praise for Like a Dog:

"Tara Jepsen's Like a Dog is outrageously funny and soul-scrapingly grim, in the tradition of our most intrepid, shameless, and shame-filled comedians and storytellers. It also announces a singular new voice in American fiction—one which is deeply alive, hard-hitting, and tender."––Maggie Nelsonauthor of The Argonauts

"This book beat the crap out of me. I am bruised and laughing. Thank you Tara Jepsen, may I have another?"—Daniel Handler, author of All The Dirty Parts

"Tara Jepsen captures the absurd, animal humor of residing in a human female body on planet Earth like no other, and Like a Dog sets it loose within a hazy California underground of abandoned skate pools, weed farms and comedy open mics. Eccentric and insidery, taking on the bonds of family and addiction, the effort to find a life and the drive to end it, Like a Dog brims with hyper-conscious gems of hilarity and pathos."––Michelle Tea, author of Black Wave

Tara Jepsen is a writer and actor living in Los Angeles, California. She's appeared in Emmy-winning series Transparent. She and longtime collaborator Beth Lisick created, wrote and acted in original web series Rods and Cones, released by Jill Soloway and Rebecca Odes's Wifey.tv in September 2014, named one of Indiewire's 25 Best Series/Creators of 2014. Tara has written and performed original sketch comedy with Lisick throughout the U.S. since 1999. They have appeared at Dixon Place in NYC, at San Francisco's Sketchfest, at the UCB in Los Angeles, and myriad additional venues. Jepsen has been published by The Believer, xojane.com, and SF Weekly, among others. She has toured and performed extensively with the seminal queer cabaret Sister Spit since 1997. And, she co-hosted the legendary San Francisco open mic K'vetsh at a gay men's bath house for over ten years.

Author, activist, and queer/feminist icon Michelle Tea is the author of five memoirs, including the award-winning Valencia (now a film). Her novels include Mermaid in Chelsea Creek, the first in a Young Adult fantasy trilogy published by McSweeneys. Tea is the Founding Artistic Director of RADAR Productions, a queer-feminist literary non-profit in San Francisco and is the editor of Sister Spit Books, an imprint of City Lights. Her writing has appeared in The Believer, n+1, Buzzfeed, The Bold Italic, Marie Claire, xoJane.com and many other print and web publications.

Photo by Jenn Rosenstein

Event date: 
Wednesday, October 4, 2017 - 7:30pm
Event address: 
1818 N Vermont Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90027
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