About the Book

Moira Orfei in Aigues-Mortes

Moira Orfei in Aigues-Mortes

A Novel
September 2004
Trade Paperback · 256 Pages
$13.95 U.S. · £9.99 U.K. · €9.99 E.U.
ISBN 9781932360530
Soft Skull Press


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Pianist Theo Mangrove's planned comeback is imminent, but he's losing his nerve. While restlessly counting down the days until a performance in the French town of Aigues-Mortes, he becomes strangely convinced that Moira Orfei, a 1960s Italian circus queen, must perform with him. As he begins to turn his displaced creativity and relentless sexual energy on a series of male hustlers, random strangers, and music students, Theo wonders whether he will be able to channel his passions into one final celebration of "the partial, the flawed, the almost, the not quite." Peopled by pianists, prostitutes, muses, and manipulators, this debut novel by noted poet and cultural critic Wayne Koestenbaum hums with obsessive energy and examines one artist's choices at the crossroads of sex, death, and creativity.

About the Author

Wayne Koestenbaum is the author of three collections of poetry, Ode to Anna Moffo and Other Poems, Rhapsodies of a Repeat Offender, and The Milk of Inquiry. Among his works of cultural criticism are The Queen's Throat: Opera, Homosexuality, and the Mystery of Desire (a National Book Critics Circle Award Finalist), Cleavage: Essays on Sex, Stars, and Aesthetics; the Penguin Lives biography of Andy Warhol; and Jackie Under My Skin: Interpreting an Icon. Wayne Koestenbaum lives in New York City.