Run Catch Kiss


August ’99

“Funny Sex & the City” by Cathi Hanauer

Subtract a decade or so from Bridget Jones, add some sizzle, and you get (the frequently undressed) 22-year-old Ariel Steiner. She’s the shamelessly sleazy heroine of this laugh-out-loud first novel by Gen X-er Amy Sohn, whose autobiographical column, “Female Trouble,” runs in New York Press, an alternative paper. Narrator Steiner, after graduating from Brown and trying unsuccessfully to become an actress, lands a gig writing – yup – an autobiographical sex column (called “Run Catch Kiss; True Confessions of a Single Girl”) for a Manhattan weekly. Soon the whole city is privy to her most intimate encounters, from blow jobs to blow-offs. In her quest to find a nice-but-not-too-nice Jewish guy (“If I could only meet the right, addicted, commitmentphobic, misogynist, misanthropic, tortured narcissistic artist”), Steiner – temping, living with her family – behaves like a “hopeless romantic trapped in the body of a seething hussy.” As such, she’s not exactly a shining example of singlehood as she throws herself at one slimy jerk after another. And the many male characters she meets are practically interchangeable, except for things like chest hair and preferred position. But Sohn’s sensibility is so fresh, and her voice so biting and bitchy, that I cackled my way through this sexathon. This is tragicomic literary porn from a rising young star. Not to be missed.

Four eyeglasses – “You won’t be able to put it down.”