Against a backdrop of petty crime, Clown Girl struggles to find her place in the world of high art; she has dreams of greatness and calls on the masters, Charlie Chaplin, Kafka and da Vinci for inspiration. But all is not art in her life: in an effort to support herself and her under-employed performance-artist boyfriend, she is drawn into the world of paying jobs, and finds herself unwittingly turned into a 'corporate clown,' trapped in a cycle of meaningless, high paid gigs which veer dangerously close, then closer to prostitution.
Using the lens of clown life to illuminate a struggle between artistic integrity and an economic reality, Monica Drake has created a novel that embraces the high comedy of early film stars -- most notably Chaplin and W.C. Fields. At the same time Drake manages to raise questions about issues of class, gender, economics and prejudice.
This debut novel is an stunning blend of the bizarre, the humorous, and the gritty. The novel resists easy classification, but is completely accessible to a general audience.
With an introduction by Chuck Palahniuk.