Fiction is subject to viruses, and the vampire bug strikes the unlikeliest writers. Witty and incisive Eidus (The War of the Rosens, 2007) has always drawn our attention to the divide between fantasy and reality, emphasizing the inescapability of the latter. She now reverses direction.
New Yorker Lilith Zeremba dreams of success as a fashion designer, a pursuit her widowed Jewish feminist intellectual mother considers frivolous at best. Beth is so sensitive to gender inequality, she believes women should rid their sexual fantasies of any hint of submission. Her daughter goes one step further: Lilith is determined to remain a virgin until she establishes her career. But this is not the message she sends when she shows up for her first day of art school in sexy vampire attire. Her risqué outfit gets an A from her intimidating drawing instructor, a chiseled man-in-black with mirrored sunglasses and the wicked name Mr. Rock.
Eidus pours it on in this read-without-stopping tale of Jewish and feminist identities assaulted by raw sexual magnetism and otherworldly powers. A smart, vampy, campy send-up.