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Surviving Mae West

A Novel by Priscilla A. Rodd

Publication Year: 2006

Tess, a West Virginian in New York City, finds herself among seedy brothels facing life as a prostitute. A number of trials test her in every way, leading to both understanding and misunderstanding among her friends and her family. Tess tells these stories of pain, joy, depression, loneliness, and endurance in her journal, and they will shock some readers and charm others. With the shadow of the Appalachians calling her back home, she desperately struggles to claim her individuality in a world of debauchery without the painful remnants of her past and fear of a fragmented future overwhelming her.

Published by: West Virginia University Press

Title Page

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Copyright

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Acknowledgments

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Winston Fuller, for igniting the spark. Gail Adams, for her inspiration and too many lessons to name. Chuck Kinder, for his secret feminist heart and for always seeing the wild possibilities. Lewis “Buddy” Nordan, for the three-act structure and verb lessons. Mary Rodd Furbee, for early lessons on commas, for the philosophy that a hundred rejections...

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October 1995

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pp. 1-39

I wash off the makeup and glitter and study myself in the dressing room mirror. Through a film of hairspray, my breasts look like limp water balloons pinned up at a county fair. Sweaty strands of black hair cling to my shoulders. My rib cage strains like a breastplate beneath my skin, suspended from jutting collarbones...

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November 1995

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pp. 41-79

In my room resting after Dad picked me up from the airport in Morgantown. We drove in silence through the chilled countryside, barren except for the occasional white house tucked in the woods or a tractor in the fields. (Country roads, take me home.) Dad said that I should ignore Ma’s meddling. That Sam’s hospitalization still has...

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December 1995

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pp. 81-125

He said, I really miss you, Tess. I heard him scratching his beard. And I choked up. Pandy paced in front of me, and I told Dad that the next time I visit, I’ll bring her to kill all the mice and snakes because she’s tougher than their lazy cats. And we both laughed ridiculous belly laughs. He said that he and Ma talked. They’d love to see me...

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January 1996

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pp. 127-176

It is officially the New Year, folks. We partied hard last night. Peter met us at the apartment for shots. He also supplied weed—a lovely drug, if I must say so. Then we staggered from one steamy bar to another, only slightly shaken into sobriety by the icy winds that clawed down the streets...

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February 1996

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pp. 177-207

You see, she continued, an alcoholic must decide to get sober, usually once they hit rock bottom, and my constant worrying, my helping Sam out of trouble, makes me an enabler. She sighed, patting her chest in the comforting, self-congratulating way that drives me crazy...

Author's Note and About the Author

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pp. 208-


E-ISBN-13: 9781935978206
E-ISBN-10: 1935978209
Print-ISBN-13: 9781933202075
Print-ISBN-10: 1933202076

Page Count: 208
Publication Year: 2006

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