In the many years that I’ve been editing book reviews, I’ve never been
pitched so hard on a title as I was for Roxana Shirazi’s The Last
Living Slut: Born In Iran, Bred Backstage. The book’s PR trumpeted that
it "is sure to be one of the most-talked-about and controversial books
of the year…the rock and roll version of The Satanic Verses." Weekly
e-mails and phone calls alerted me to the "unapologetic, feminist book"
and its "passionate, heartfelt tale of jilted love," urged me to
interview the author, and—with that Rushdie reference—suggested that
Shirazi’s tale of cock-rock conquest could easily be grounds for a
After actually reading it, though, I’m thinking that if The Last Living
Slut does turn out to be one of the most talked-about books of the
year, it’ll be mainly because those publicists can’t stop fulminating
about how controversial it is.