Dorn, Anna - Perfume & Pain

Dorn, Anna - Perfume & Pain

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A controversial Los Angeles author attempts to revive her career and finally find true love in this hilarious nod to 1950s lesbian pulp fiction.

Having recently moved both herself and her formidable perfume bottle collection into a tiny bungalow in Los Angeles, mid-list author Astrid Dahl finds herself back in the Zoom writer’s group she cofounded, Sapphic Scribes, after an incident that leaves her and her career lightly canceled. But she temporarily forgets all that by throwing herself into a few sexy distractions—like Ivy, a grad student who smells like metallic orchids and is researching 1950s lesbian pulp, or her new neighbor, Penelope, who smells like patchouli.

Penelope, a painter living off Urban Outfitters settlement money, immediately ingratiates herself in Astrid’s life, bonding with her best friends and family, just as Astrid and Ivy begin to date in person. Astrid feels judged and threatened by Penelope, a responsible older vegan, but also finds her irresistibly sexy.

When Astrid receives an unexpected call from her agent with the news that actress and influencer Kat Gold wants to adapt her previous novel for TV, Astrid finally has a chance to resurrect her waning career. But the pressure causes Astrid’s worst vice to rear its head—the Patricia Highsmith, a blend of Adderall, alcohol, and cigarettes—and results in blackouts and a disturbing series of events.

Unapologetically feminine yet ribald, steamy yet hilarious, Anna Dorn has crafted an exquisite homage to the lesbian pulp of yore, reclaiming it for our internet- and celebrity-obsessed world.

Title: Perfume & Pain

Author: Anna Dorn

Genre: Literary Fiction (352 pages)

Publisher: Simon & Schuster - Release Date: May 21, 2024

A nod to 1950s lesbian pulp fiction, Perfume and Pain follows a controversial LA author, Marina Salt, attempting to revive her career after being cancelled. She escapes the trappings of sapphic melodrama in favor of finding true love.

LGBT Themes

Perfume & Pain is a lesbian romance novel that explores themes of love, identity, and redemption. The protagonist, Marina Salt, is a lesbian navigating the challenges of Hollywood and the aftermath of cancellation.

Relevant Tags:

  • lgbt, lgbtq, lesbian romance, contemporary fiction, second chances, redemption, Hollywood, 1950s pulp fiction
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