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Open Me

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“Locascio’s story of a young American abroad is unflinching in its portrayal of sex, desire, racism, and the excitement and confusion of youth. Infused with erotics and politics, this is a novel that will haunt you.”—Viet Thanh Nguyen, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Sympathizer

Roxana Olsen has always dreamed of going to Paris, and after high school graduation finally plans to travel there on a study abroad program—a welcome reprieve from the bruising fallout of her parents’ divorce. But a logistical mix-up brings Roxana to Copenhagen instead, where she’s picked up at the airport by Søren, a twenty-eight year old guide who is meant to be her steward.  Instantly drawn to one another, Roxana and Søren’s relationship turns romantic, and when he asks Roxana to accompany him to a small coastal town for the rest of the summer, she doesn’t hesitate to accept. There, Roxana’s world narrows and expands as she experiences fantasy, ritual, and the pleasures of her body, a thrilling realm of erotic and domestic bliss. Seduced by this newfound connection, Roxana doesn’t object when Søren requests that she spend her days alone in the apartment while he goes to the library to work.

As their relationship deepens, Søren’s temperament darkens, and Roxana finds herself increasingly drawn to a local outsider, Zlatan, whom she learns is a Muslim refugee from the Bosnian War. The cycle of awakenings sparked by these two relationships challenge and open Roxana in ways she never imagined.

A coming-of-age like no other, from a magnetic new voice in fiction, Open Me is a daringly original and darkly compelling portrait of a young woman discovering her power, her sex, and her voice; and a propulsive exploration of estrangement and what it means to belong.

From Publishers Weekly

Jun 25, 2018 – A young American's exploration of what it means to be desired and her near-constant quest for sex are the focus of Locascio's raunchy yet flat debut. Eighteen-year-old Roxana is scheduled to embark on a summer study abroad program to Paris with her best friend. When Roxana gets bumped to Copenhagen instead, she lies to her parents about her travel plans and decides to make the best of her experience on her own in Denmark especially after she meets her attractive 28-year-old guide, S ren. But then, S ren suggests she ditch the program and follow him to Fars , a small town in the north of Denmark, for the summer while he works on his graduate thesis. The romance starts out delightfully domestic but becomes progressively claustrophobic as Roxana beings spending her days indoors without a key, cleaning, masturbating, and waiting for S ren to return so they can have sex. In turn, increasingly whiny S ren has trouble writing his thesis and resents Roxana for her lusty behavior. The novel's focus on Roxana's obsession with discovering the power of her body ("The space between my legs became the center of everything") comes off as navel-gazing rather than titillating or erotic. Readers will find themselves wishing for more from Roxana and her awakening.
Open Me
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  • $24.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Literary
  • Published: Aug 07, 2018
  • Publisher: Grove Atlantic
  • Seller: Perseus Books, LLC
  • Print Length: 288 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: This book can only be viewed on an iOS device with Apple Books on iOS 12 or later, iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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