Crossing the boundaries of literature and sexual culture, The Assistance of Vice tells the story of a New York City woman living on the edge. It’s 1983 and the protagonist is faced with a dilemma. Choosing from too many women should be easy, and so should making it in the downtown art scene as a talented photographer. But nothing’s easy when you don’t trust your talents. Degnore propels the reader from shock to reflection in this work of erotic philosophy. It is sometimes jagged, sometimes gentle, but always honest.
“This classic underground lesbian sex novel from the 1980s is finally reissued! A day-to-day recounting of emotional and sexual risks in the Downtown dyke scene, surrounded by the explosion of AIDS and the implosion of the maverick art world. Degnore was there and knows of what she speaks. A record of a disappeared world with no rules but desire.”—Sarah Schulman, author, The Cosmopolitans
“I frequently look for more work by Roberta Degnore and still hope that she will give us another taste. The Assistance of Vice is tongue firmly in cheek, punchy, irreverent, and speedy as hell. It might be tough on the streets, but style and art and attention, the real politik of lesbian life, means that there is no false or preachy note. Great book, wonderful entertainment, and a role model? Hmmm. . . I wonder if I dare? C’mon. . . more.”—Barbara Burford, author, The Threshing Floor