Tag Archives: A Memoir of Hard Living Hair and Post-Punk from the Middle East to the Lower East Side

Harley Loco by Rayya Elias

Harley Loco by Rayya Elias: This is a memoir by a woman born in Syria, raised in Detroit, and educated on the streets of 1980s New York City. She is a hairdresser, a musician, a lesbian, a drug addict. Elias’s descriptions of her life are completely unflinching: her talents as a stylist and musician are devoid of any humility, but her moments of weakness and crimes against her loved ones are presented without any excuses or pleas for sympathy. Her world is one of her own making, for better or for worse. I would have appreciated more physical description of the world she lived in, so I could really picture it, but Elias is clearly not that kind of writer. Photographs would have been nice too. All the same, this was an interesting portrait of a life so completely unlike mine, and a good cautionary tale about drug use.

Also posted on BookCrossing.

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