“More than a memoir, Elias’ tale –from Syria in the 1960s to New York in the 1980s – offers a street-level snapshot of some of history’s most critical time periods. Through her intimate storytelling, we get a glimpse into the highly personal struggles of addiction and the powerlessness of those caught in its grip.”
"Rayya Elias's life reads like Huck Finn on heroin. Her story of fleeing Syria as a child, growing up in Detroit and spending her young adulthood trolling around the East Village is as American as they come, including as it does immigration, addiction and hard won deliverance. Through it all Elias's voice burns fire hot and is completely engaging."
“Rayya’s writing doesn’t come out on the page feeling like it was squeezed from a standard-issue literary toothpaste tube. Instead, her stories are like tough little stray creatures, born in the lowest hollows of the dirtiest street corners, which then – as you watch, breath held – fight their way to rapture.”
“Rayya Elias's Harley Loco grabs you by the throat on the very first page, and then never stops shaking you even after you've closed the book. It's a punk song disguised as a memoir: raw, slashing, gritty, and shot through with all the wild confusion of youth. But it's also wise, unpredictable, and relentlessly affecting.”