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The Anarchist’s Girlfriend walks the Bowery in early 1980’s New York City and absorbs the atmosphere and emotions of those around her. Her encounters reflect her society—art, politics, business, religion. Inspired by Dostoyevsky’s divine “Idiot,” the AG is a clairvoyant Brooklyn Go-Go Girl who designs clothes of the future.
Her roommates include her beloved Anarchist, a silkscreen artist, who wants to resolve Ireland’s “troubles” with organic food, and nihilistic Sandy, a video vérité switchboard operator. The story also involves the Llama, who’s in the religion business, and his employee, Wayne, a deaf mute journalist with a nose for truth. All are involved, as passion and hypocrisy erupt in a cloud of dust. And the AG must save her imperiled city.
Delightfully retro and powerfully prescient, this novel of ideas satirizes New York’s bohemian underground and the America of any time. Character truly becomes destiny and in the end, innocence is not lost but transcended.
“Uh-oh, Woody, Manhattan may be in peril. Pre-Internet, pre-Kardashian, pre A-Rod New York is the setting for Susan I. Weinstein’s sneaky funny, ever-seductive, refreshingly unconventional novel, The Anarchist’s Girlfriend. It’s quite a head-spinning read. And no wonder, for Weinstein is a boldly creative, highly visual writer whose narrative moves with distinctive rhythms; she has a laser eye for hypocrisy and detail, and hits you fast with lots of stuff. Best of all, her imagined parallel universe here is occupied by a Rolodex of indelibly unique characters—starting with AG herself—unlikely to be found elsewhere. Well, at least not on this planet; UFOs come to mind. A truly original work.”
Howard Rosenberg, former LA Times TV critic
“Having lived in the East Village in the ’80s, I can say from experience that The Anarchist’s Girlfriend captures the spirit of the time, real and surreal. Like Balzac and Zola, it’s the novel as social history, and like Don DeLillo, it captures that weird parallel universe version of a place that’s frighteningly close to home. Fans of DeLillo in particular should be attracted to this work.”
Peter Cherches, author of Lift Your Right Arm
“What a puzzle box of a novel. The writing is very fine-textured and funny, but mostly beautiful. New York under siege. I guess in a way New York is under siege every day. I loved the character of the AG and didn’t expect to. After all, there’s that annoying trend in novels where the title is always someone’s wife or daughter. The Pilot’s Wife, the Bonesetter’s Daughter, the Pony’s Aunt. But the AG is like Fitzdare in The Beastly Beatitudes of Balthazar B, a beautiful book by JP Donleavy. New York is the only city where such a story could take place.”
Sally Eckhoff, author of F*ck Art (Let’s Dance)
“A careening and suspenseful trip through not only pre-9/11, pre-cell phone Manhattan but into the souls of unforgettable characters...and further, into the world of ideas. Daring to delve into philosophy, metaphysics, politics, psychology, and even art, the author makes you think, feel, and ponder. Yet she’s never, ever didactic, it’s all part of the compelling story: a plot to create a horrendous event, and the love inspired by the title character—the luminous, lovely, and clairvoyant anarchist’s girlfriend. In a way, this is also a coming of age story as even mature characters such as the Irishman anarchist; the Llama, a heavy in a church that will remind you of Scientology; and a deaf-mute writer make new choices for their lives. Don’t be put off by the long cast of characters in the very beginning, or you’ll miss the sights and smells of gritty old New York, the wonderful outfits the anarchist’s girlfriend designs, and her apartment mate Sandy’s bizarre collage. The writing is modern and hip; the surprises keep coming. The Anarchist’s Girlfriend is a unique treat.”
Ann Schwartz, former copy chief at Grand Central Publishing
Susan I. Weinstein is a writer, playwright, and painter. Susan’s short fiction and poetry have appeared in numerous literary magazines, including The Metric and The Portable Lower East Side - a literary magazine in NYU’s collection of the lower east side art and literary movement. Currently, she is at work on a WWII novel based on blacked out V-mail.
She wrote Rabies, a new language play produced by A.C.T. in Squaw Valley in 1974 and later developed White-Walled Babes at The Public Theater, produced at Trinity Rep among others. Her play Something About That Face was produced at NY’s Harold Clurman Theater. Currently, she’s working on a new play called The Making of ADD/ADHD.
Susan is married and lives in NYC.