Alta Corral is a distinctive character in contemporary fiction--a young woman confident, even nonchalant, about her sexual conquests of other women. She works as a body piercer at a full-service tattoo parlor, rides a motorcycle, and has slept with every girl in San Francisco who is so inclined. But none can replace Sasha "Shy" Mallon, the next-door neighbor from her girlhood. As teenagers, they discovered themselves together; then Shy fled to Seattle and entered a relationship with a man. Now Shy has returned, pregnant, to be at her dying mother's bedside. Alta joins her there; and soon they arc tending toward intimacy again, in a way that shakes up their notions of who they are, as well as opening up the secrets of their mothers' lives. Elizabeth Stark writes about the lesbian culture of San Francisco in a wry, winning fashion; Shy Girl is a fresh and affecting first novel.
Elizabeth gives an overview of the book:
Elizabeth Stark was born in Berkeley, California, and raised on vision theory and folk music in the after-math of the "free love" movement. Descending on her mother's side from a matriarchal family of vaudevillains, communisits and Christian Scientists, and on her...