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Harley Loco: A Memoir of Hard Living, Hair & Post-Punk, from the Middle East to the Lower East Side

by Rayya Elias - £14.99  Bloomsbury Publishing PLC (2014)
paperback    ISBN 13: 9781408837696 | ISBN 10: 1408837692

"She's experienced wealth, cultural alienation, homelessness, brushes with fame, prison, rehab, record deals, a million blown second chances, a dozen broken hearts and one bloody-knuckled ultimate spiritual redemption. She even died once in the process, and may very well have had sex with your wife back in the eighties..."
(Elizabeth Gilbert)
When she was seven, Rayya Elias and her upper-class family fled the political conflict in their native Syria, settling in a suburb of Detroit. Bullied in school and caught between the world of her traditional family and her tough American classmates, she rebelled early. Rayya moved to New York City to become a musician and kept herself afloat with an uncommon talent for cutting hair. Eventually though, Elias's affairs with lovers of both sexes went awry, her (more than) occasional drug use turned to addiction and she found herself living on the streets - between visits to jail.
 
Told with a keen sense of humour and a lack of self-pity in even the most harrowing situations, Harley Loco is a memoir about jumping in head-first, no questions asked. It's a book about living in the moment no matter what that might bring, and about pursuing, not always by choice, a life of extremes - highs and lows, pain and passion - until ultimately arriving at a place of contentment and peace.

(Price & availability last checked: March 2020)

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In booklists: Women in Music, Women in North America, Addiction and Drugs, Punk and Post-Punk,
In categories: Feminism & Women, Music & Performing Arts, World - North America, Society, Welfare, Justice & the State, Health & Wellbeing,

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