Thursday, October 8, 2015

"Love, Loss and Longing in the Age of Reagan" by Iris Dorbian

Love, Loss and Longing in the Age of Reagan: Diary of a Mad Club Girl
by Iris Dorbian

Love, Loss and Longing in the Age of Reagan: Diary of a Mad Club Girl is currently on tour with Goddess Fish Promotions. The tour stops here today for a guest post by the author, an excerpt, and a giveaway. Please be sure to visit the other tour stops as well.

It's the early 1980s, MTV is in its infancy, the Internet does not exist, Ronald Reagan is president and yuppies are ruling Wall Street. Edie is a naïve NYU student desperate to lose her virginity and to experience adventure that will finally make her worldly, setting her further apart from her bland suburban roots. But in her quest to mold herself into an ideal of urban sophistication, the New Jersey-born co-ed gets more than she bargained for, triggering a chain of events that will have lasting repercussions.

Looking like a cross between Keith Richards right before his descent into unregenerate drug addiction and a homeless vagrant with a permanent 10 o’clock shadow, Peter flashed a confident smile at me, revealing two rows of jagged, yellowing teeth. Wearing a snug black shirt with a V-neck that showed generous tufts of dark chest hair, a Free Sid button referring to the arrest nearly a year ago of Sid Vicious, the Sex Pistols’ bassist for the murder of his girlfriend and skin tight blue jeans, I recoiled at the sight of Peter but also couldn’t turn away. He was that perversely transfixing.
“Edie, this is my roommate Peter. Peter, this is Edie,” said George whom I had practically forgotten at that point.
Peter duly nodded back at me. “So, what do you think of Professor Jackson’s class?” he asked, gazing back at me with his Rasputin eyes.
I was flustered. His freaky eyes and sexy caveman aura threw me off balance. On one level, I was grossed out by his teeth and he seemed really hairy. But on the other hand, I liked his feathery dark straight Beatle mop, his trim, cute body and his softly masculine deep voice. He was short though - only slightly taller than me and I’m barely 5’7.  
“What are you interested in doing when you get out?” I said, the words rushing out of my mouth before I could clog them. What a heavy-handed question to ask someone I just met. I should be muzzled.
“I want to be an English professor,” Peter said forcefully, the leering gleam in his eyes temporarily dissipating. “And write.”
While Peter talked, I continued to eyeball him even though my better Emily Post instincts kept telling me I shouldn’t. It wasn’t polite but I couldn’t help it.
My nose noticed, much to my delight, that Peter reeked of pot, which I soon learned he smoked nonstop. I hadn’t smoked pot in a long while - not since my stint with the misfit crowd I briefly hung out with in high school. My nostrils flared a bit as I tried to inhale more of that familiar sticky-sweet scent. 

Praise for the Book
"Iris Dorbian's young adult coming of age story, Love, Loss and Longing in the Age of Reagan: Diary of a Mad Club Girl, is a marvelous and compelling tale that reads like a memoir and immerses the reader in New York City during the 1980s. This story is so authentic and real that at times I had to remind myself that I was reading fiction. [...] Love, Loss and Longing in the Age of Reagan is a most impressive debut novel that was a sheer delight to read. It's most highly recommended." ~ Jack Magnus, Readers' Favorite
"This is the perfect book to sit back with and escape the reality of today's times. It will take you back in time, to me, a better place and time. The memories this plot brings along with it, brought back just that ... memories. I found myself thinking what it would be like to go back in time and relive those days. Well, maybe not all... Just like the events that lead up to so many for Edie, you too will relive some memories." ~ Peggy Salkill
"A wonderful book! Love, Loss and Longing in the Age of Reagan effortlessly captures the feel and vibe of 1980's New York. Nothing is spared in this illuminating slice of life - the characters, the situations, and the setting. As someone who was attending NYU at the time (School of the Arts), I can certainly vouch for the realistic tone the author brings to the book. This is an author to watch..." ~ Tom J.
"Great fast read book, Since I grew up in the same era, I could really relate to the story. Thanks for the memories Iris." ~ gail

Guest Post by the Author
Pondering My Favorite Part of the Book
If I had to reflect upon which part of the book was the most entertaining for me to write about, it would have to be the chapter devoted to Edie's job as a cocktail waitress at the downtown New York City rock club The Ritz (now known as Webster Hall). Yet it was also the most demanding and labor-intensive to write because of the sheer volume of detail I had to evoke: from the club decor and music to the other waitresses and cast of characters who used to hang out at the club.
Even though I've never disguised the fact that this novel is a roman a clef, loosely based on my experiences as a pixilated NYU student during the early 1980s; I've also never backed down from admitting that many of the conversations, characters and events depicted in Love, Loss and Longing in the Age of Reagan were fictionalized. However, in this instance, I did indeed work one crazy semester during my junior year as a waitress at The Ritz while balancing a full course workload. The combination eventually proved disastrous on my mental and physical health. Five months after starting the job, I threw in the towel and quit--but not before I amassed a vast stock of colorful and whimsical experiences. That chapter devoted to Edie's job at the Ritz is mostly true. One thing that is not true is that I NEVER got accosted by a madam of a call girl agency in the bathroom at the club. That entire exchange never happened.

About the Author
Iris Dorbian is a former actress turned business journalist/blogger. Her articles have appeared in a wide number of outlets that include the Wall Street Journal, Reuters, Venture Capital Journal, DMNews,, Playbill, Backstage, Theatermania, Live Design, Media Industry Newsletter and PR News. From 1999 to 2007, Iris was the editor-in-chief of Stage Directions. She is the author of Great Producers: Visionaries of the American Theater, which was published by Allworth Press in August 2008. Her personal essays have been published in Blue Lyra Review, B O D Y, Embodied Effigies, Jewish Literary Journal, Skirt!, Diverse Voices Quarterly, and Gothesque Magazine. She has a master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University.

Enter the tour-wide giveaway for a chance to win a $20 Amazon or B&N gift card.