A story of a soccer mom who moonlights as a dominatrix.
In her writing Zabrisky draws on her life experiences: At nineteen, she was solicited by a KGB agent to become a prostitute-spy for the infamous Soviet institution and flirted with the idea. As an MFA student at Leningrad State University (the "Oxford of the East"), she chose to pursue a career in business. Years later, Zabrisky wrote WE, MONSTERS, the story of what could have happened, while juggling her motherhood responsibilities with a San Francisco dungeon dominatrix job.
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"...the brutal subject matter is leavened with emotion,humor, and an honest exploration of female sexuality. Much like Lolita...slyly funny and richly characterized." -Guernica Daily
"Literary crumb trails appear and then dry up as Zabrisky, playing a great cat and mouse game, with a wink, slyly shuts the door on the discerning reader... This is a story that will stick with the reader long after finishing it. “We, Monsters” is a stunning force of a debut novel." - Red Fez
"...exciting, fun, tragic, beautiful, and revealing...Engrossing and intelligent, We, Monsters is an extraordinary read."
--Up the Stairs Quarterly
"...this is not a book about either murder or analysis, not about the rote realities of dominatrix work, but about what Freud offers in the manner of Artaud, an enactment, fairy tales as hyperbolic truths, nightmares as myths of origin... agony, ecstasy, and enactment, “the experience itself, the plague itself.” Which we all need." --Decomp Literary Magazine
"Zarina Zabrisky delivers an edgy, shocking debut – a psychological thriller of kink and culture clash in San Francisco’s underground. “We, Monsters” takes readers into a troubling, yet tantalizing, world where wayward housewives find employment fulfilling men’s most brutal desires. It’s a story that will stick with you long after you finish reading." -Scott James, New York Times contributing columnist and author of the bestselling Kemble Scott novels “SoMa” and “The Sower”.
"An unabashedly pervy, comedically deconstructive romp through modern motherhood, psychoanalytic theory and the sex industry, WE,MONSTERS is also surprisingly charming and deeply moving." -Gina Frangello, author of the collection Slut Lullabies, and novels My Sister's Continent and A Life in Men, and a cofounder of Other Voices Books.
"...the literary equivalent of a Jackson Pollack painting: a multi-layered, amazing, and seductive mess... I wish more writers would take this risk, as it would, in my opinion, bring literature back to where it needs to be, in the realm of Art."
-Marie Lecrivain, Chief Editor at Poeticdiversity
"On page after page, I am reminded why I love literature so much." --Charles Kruger, journalist at Litseen
"...psychologically thrilling and emotional and beautiful and ugly and thought provoking and, oh what a ride!" --Sarah Page, editor at Out of Our
"...as much a book about migration, about subjective space, symbolic times, and personal memory, as it’s a book about perverts, abusers, and the abused, and the circle of abuse--in San Francisco, in Odessa, or anywhere. ... rich and complex, intricately structured novel... We, Monsters provides an utterly intense experience: a totally immersive reader-narrator fusion.
--Polly Trope, author of the novel "Cured Meat"