Set in disparate parts of Los Angeles, Chicken uproariously, grievously, relates the collision and inevitably ruinous paths of two incendiary figures. One is the once beautiful and famous Parnell Wilde, a maverick actor arrogant in his disastrous fall. The other is Annabel Wrath, a much younger, idiosyncratic cult filmmaker with contradictory motives for seeking the older man out.
The two are profoundly altered by their meeting and its harrowing denouement and manage to save each other from their paths of torment and dizzying spirals of decline. But when Parnell is offered the chance to perform in the sequel to Ultraviolence, the feature film that made him famous — and to work again with its brilliant but merciless director — he and Annabel are forced to confront their demons as the extreme, fleeting, and dangerous world of fame threatens to divide them.
Poet, author, and novelist Lynn Crosbie was born and raised in Montreal. An award-winning journalist and cultural critic, she has written about fashion, sports, art, and celebrity. She has a Ph.D. in English literature and a background in visual studies; she teaches at the University of Toronto and the Ontario College of Art and Design. Her volumes of poetry and prose include Queen Rat, Dorothy L’Amour, and Liar. She is the author of the controversial book Paul’s Case, about the Paul Bernardo–Karla Homolka murders, as well as the novels Life Is About Losing Everything and Where Did You Sleep Last Night, a Trillium Book Award finalist. Her most recent book is a collection of poems about her father, entitled The Corpses of the Future.
Praise for Lynn Crosbie and Chicken:
“A baroque masterpiece!” — Margaret Atwood
“Crosbie’s prose is seductive and deft, and imbued with yearning . . . Chicken sounds a clarion call for the necessity and potential of transgressive literature — the kind that allows difficult, conflicting truths to exist simultaneously. Crosbie defiantly acknowledges both the deviant and the sacred, the romantics and rebels that exist in all of us.” — Quill & Quire, starred review
“Crosbie’s visceral and sharp writing excites and horrifies us as we’re implicated in the depravities of Parnell and Hollywood . . . Ultimately, good art not only engages us, but challenges us with what it says and what it asks of us — and in doing so, keeps us coming back. Crosbie’s Chicken certainly does that.” — Winnipeg Free Press
“Chicken, the new novel by Toronto author and poet Lynn Crosbie, is a clamorous, electrifying kaleidoscope of sex and violence that veers toward sensory overload. But just when you think you can’t take any more, there are moments of desperate tenderness and melancholy that almost make you weep. Oh, and it’s funny too.” — Toronto Star
“[Chicken] is a trippy, devastating, and blackly comedic look at the true price of love . . . full of bright colours, dizzying violence, and warped timelines . . . A disturbing and poetic punk-rock version of the classic star-crossed lovers tale.” — Kirkus Reviews
“Electric. With fearless instincts and incandescent language that cuts to the bone, Crosbie boldly explores the savageries of Hollywood, love, and fame, as well as the scars they leave behind. Parnell Wilde is surely among Crosbie’s most vivid and heartbreaking creations.” — Mona Awad, author of 13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl
“Plangent and funny . . . Crosbie’s palette is exquisite, a mix of rich textures and bleak, unadorned realism.” — Literary Review of Canada
“An outlandish, funhouse rendering of fame, desire, appetite, vengeance, and loss.” — EVENT Magazine
“As it follows the desperate last twitchings of an aging bad boy actor, Lynn Crosbie’s latest novel draws us into a nightmarish vortex that feels like an unholy wedding of David Lynch and Joan Didion. Elegantly sleazy, sensuously creepy, and funny as hell, Chicken is one of the best Hollywood novels I've read in years.” — Dan Chaon, author of Ill Will
Praise for Lynn Crosbie and Corpses of the Future:
“[U]nswerving in honesty and high in impact. . . . You'd have to be half-dead or worse not to weep, rejoice and rage when the speakers of these poems take you to the edge and offer ‘some faint, still powerful memories, of love and mercy’ as salve.” — Globe and Mail
Praise for Lynn Crosbie and Where Did You Sleep Last Night:
“Lynn Crosbie is what a great writer should be: pissed off, bereft, misunderstood, impolite, funny, and in love with the madness of the world.” — Miriam Toews, author of All My Puny Sorrows and A Complicated Kindness
“Where Did You Sleep Last Night is terrifying and beautiful. It is a thrift store jam packed with once loved, tattered, and gorgeous images. Crosbie is as mad as Rimbaud, as sweet as Keats, and as debauched as Courtney Love. Kurt Cobain would have adored her.” — Heather O’Neill, author of The Girl Who Was Saturday Night and Lullabies for Little Criminals
“Lynn Crosbie’s Where Did You Sleep Last Night is a brilliant portrait of romance, rages, passionate reunions, the emptiness of fame, and the devastating losses that afflict two doomed rock stars locked in a heart-shaped box. Every sentence is poetry. I predict this book will, like Kurt Cobain, develop its own cult following.” — Jowita Bydlowska, author of Drunk Mom
“The book’s most affecting passages are the ones where Evelyn’s reverence for Celine bumps up against her desire to be a rock star in her own right . . . the sense of being caught in thrall to a self-destructive genius and trying to match him, note for note and mistake for mistake, is resonant.” — Quill & Quire
“Bold, kaleidoscopic, full of absurd black humour, Lynn Crosbie’s new novel Where Did You Sleep Last Night is quite unlike anything else that’s been published recently . . . It is pop and avant-garde, full of fireworks and heartbreak.” — Globe and Mail
“Eminently worthy of our attention . . . restless, funny, and artfully crazed.” — Maclean’s
“I found myself alternately charmed and gutted . . . Lynn Crosbie has produced a grunge elegy.” — Toronto Star
“[O]pen to any page and find a paragraph that could stand alone as a devastatingly beautiful poem. This woman can write.” — NOW Magazine