Love, Loss and Longing in the Age of Reagan: Diary of a Mad Club Girl
by Iris Dorbian
BLURB:It's the early 1980s, MTV is in its infancy, the Internet does not exist, Ronald Reagan is president and yuppies are ruling Wall Street. Edie is a naïve NYU student desperate to lose her virginity and to experience adventure that will finally make her worldly, setting her further apart from her bland suburban roots. But in her quest to mold herself into an ideal of urban sophistication, the New Jersey-born co-ed gets more than she bargained for, triggering a chain of events that will have lasting repercussions.
After sleeping through the next two days, I found myself wide awake, playing the grooves out of Flock of Seagull’s “Telecommunication” on my roommate’s turntable. For some inexplicable reason, I always felt compelled to play this vinyl disc as nightly ritual in preparation for my job at the Ritz.
As droning synthesizers ushered in this song, which sounded like something George and Jane Jetson would listen to on crack, I’d pull out from my bureau the short and slightly pleated black skirt I got at Macy’s at the Garden State Plaza mall in Paramus, New Jersey. The store was having a special “New Wave” sale and I, eager, to fortify my loyalty to the passing trends of my volatile youth, bought up some stock that consisted of a yellow lame dress that I had convinced myself looked like it came out of the ‘20s and a really cool Betsy Johnson sweater skirt that had purple and pink butterflies strewn all over it. Because Ritz management decreed that all waitresses wear black, I shoved my legs into black Capezio tights and threw on a black sweater whose sleeves and collar were trimmed with a furry boa I adored.
Usually by the time the tune ended, I was ready to go, dressed head to toe in full Ritz regalia. This was my cue to turn the needle back to where it started, scratch it up some more and play the ditty yet again. I fed off every detail of this clockwork ritual, the way a diabetic feeds off insulin. It was a necessary prelude to an evening rarely without consequence. I was steeling myself for the possible insanity that awaited me.
10 Things You Didn’t Know About Iris Dorbian
- She knows Yiddish, some German, some Spanish she learned in school and a smattering here and there of Hebrew.
- She has a master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University and a BA in history from NYU.
- “Love, Loss and Longing in the Age of Reagan” is loosely based on her experiences as a college student in New York City in the early 1980s. It is also her second book and first novel. Her first book “Great Producers: Visionaries of the American Theater” was published by Allworth Press (now an imprint of Skyhorse Publishing) in August 2008.
- When Iris lived in NYU’s Weinstein dorm on University Place, another student named Bill Wilhelm (whom New Yorkers know better as Mayor de Blasio) ran for and was elected president of the dorm.
- Like her book’s protagonist Edie, Iris is the daughter of a Holocaust survivor and a first-generation Israeli woman.
- With the exception of her brother, two cousins and herself, all of her relatives were born overseas. Currently, she has family in Israel, Rio de Janeiro, Latvia (where her father was from), Switzerland and France.
- As a preteen, she belonged to a bowling league and to this day, can bowl a pretty mean game. No gutters for her!
- A history geek, Iris once memorized by heart and in chronological order, every Roman emperor from the beginning to the fall of the empire—and in both the Eastern and Western sectors.
- A versatile journalist, Iris has covered a wide range of beats that include theater, dance, media, advertising/marketing, small business and currently, private equity/venture capital.
- The most famous celebrity Iris has ever met was JFK Jr. She met him when she was filling in for an assistant who was out on maternity leave at the now defunct Family Life magazine, then published by Hachette. JFK Jr’s George magazine, which was also being published by Hachette, was being launched at the same time. And yes, he did look that good in person but more important, he was very polite, gracious and friendly.
Iris Dorbian will be awarding a $20 Amazon/BN to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.
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AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Iris Dorbian is a former actress turned business journalist/blogger. Her articles have appeared in a wide number of outlets that include the Wall Street Journal, Reuters, Venture Capital Journal, DMNews, CFO.com, Playbill, Backstage, Theatermania, Live Design, Media Industry Newsletter and PR News. From 1999 to 2007, Iris was the editor-in-chief of Stage Directions. She is the author of “Great Producers: Visionaries of the American Theater," which was published by Allworth Press in August 2008. Her personal essays have been published in Blue Lyra Review, B O D Y, Embodied Effigies, Jewish Literary Journal, Skirt! Diverse Voices Quarterly and Gothesque Magazine. She has a master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University.
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