Ali Liebegott is part of a new trend in queer writing that uses a frighteningly
honest and conversational storytelling style, as if the writer and reader are
sitting on the front stoop of a downtrodden
walk-up sharing stories and passing a beer. The reader becomes witness and
confidant to the inner workings of a co-dependent lesbian who finds herself in
love with all the wrong women.
Francesca, the narrator and main character of The IHOP Papers, is a more than disgruntled waitress by
night/writer by day, working the night-shift for a measly living. She is as
smart as she is endearingly naive. What brings her to San
Francisco is an intense crush on her philosophy
professor, Irene, who is in a polyarmorous relationship with two of her former
students, Jenny and Gustavo. Upon Francie's arrival they all live in Simplicity
House, a communal living experience based on green living, honesty, and the
phrase, "All work is meditation."
Despite the good intentions of this living situation, it is bound to create an
atmosphere of thick tension. And as the narrator, Francie captures the awkward,
and quite dramatic, interpersonal relationships of the group from the
perspective of an outside observer, and later a peripheral participant. All
while treating the reader to a behind the scenes perspective of an IHOP
waitress, a recovering alcoholic, a co-dependent dyke, a person who self
injures, and a virgin all wrapped into one person.
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