Night Crawler

The Voice of Sarah

The degrading but captivating intricacies of the plot aside, LeRoy's ease with language, his lyrical descriptions -- Le Loup's room, ensconced in thick, matted brown bear fur; a whore's hug that feels like being cradled in a twig nest -- and his graceful use of colloquialisms (e.g., "hotter'n a goat's butt in a pepper patch") are enough to make Sarahworth reading. His wide-eyed, tragicomic optimism makes Sarahworth reading again. It is, in fact, the transmission of defiant, childlike innocence that gives Sarahroom to breathe, and keeps its subject matter from consuming the spark of its protagonist. Despite all evidence that hope is futile, we are left with just that -- bittersweet, lingering hope -- at the end of the tale.

LeRoy, who is painfully uncomfortable around strangers, cannot tour in support of his book. Public readings are absolutely out of the question. (The last time he shot up was after a book reading by Dennis Cooper that left him feeling unhinged.) In spite of the obstacles, there will be readings: In San Francisco (at Books, Inc. on Thursday, May 18) by fans Mark Ewert, Kevin Killian, Beth Lisick, and Carol Queen; in New York by Bruce Benderson, Mary Gaitskill, Laurie Stone, and Suzanne Vega; and in Los Angeles, by Dennis Cooper, Lydia Lunch, and Jerry Stahl. Sarahrecently garnered rave reviews in the New York Times, Spin, and London Times. There are rumors of a bidding war for the film rights. In just over a month, I've read the book three times. LeRoy knows of the novel's success, and still is fraught with insecurity.

"I wrote Sarahfrom this really pure, honest place," he says, "from deep inside. Just feeling, like Braille. I hope it is a book people will feel. I guess my biggest fear is that no one will give a shit."

LeRoy's biggest fear should be that everyone who reads the book will give a shit, and public celebrity will be sure to follow.

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