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Publishers WeeklyMore than a follow-up to her first memoir, Live Nude Elf, Rev Jen's new book stands on its own as a witty and defiant account of a young woman lusting after her own brand of offbeat superstardom. In brief, vignette-like chapters, the author dramatizes her whimsical childhood in Maryland, her years as a struggling art student at the School of Visual Arts (she came to New York In 1990), and the series of increasingly quirky performance pieces she curated during her twenties and thirties while living on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. Her goofy sensibility brings to life such projects as the Anti-Slam (her answer to the poetry slam establishment), the Dance Liberation Front (a protest movement countering a law that made dancing in NYC bars illegal), and the Troll Museum, an extensive collection of the once-ubiquitous plastic dolls, housed in the author's living room and open for public viewing. Yet, despite the notoriety granted her by Paper magazine and the New York Times, Rev Jen maintains the work ethic of an underdog (her day jobs include working as a guard at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and a Christmas elf at Bloomingdale's). Consequently, her voice is both self-deprecating and hopeful: "Things haven't been cool since I moved here," she writes. "I guess that makes me lucky. If I'd gotten here in 1980, I'd probably be in rehab right now." Readers fond of performance artists and their debaucheries will find much to celebrate here.
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