For fans of Mary Gaitskill, a dark literary Gaslight tale written in sparse and gleaming prose, of three very different women who fall under the spell of a tattooist
Xanthe is a woman living on the edge as she recalls her submission to a cruel and abusive Master whose name is tattooed between her shoulder blades. Yoshiko, a young Japanese student, now finds her spider's web tattoo immature?she plans a bolder statement. Trainee lawyer and bulimic Zairah has Mickey Mouse on her hip, a symbol of a youth she wishes to forget?she wants to be fierce. All three discover Fabrice, the tattooist who has only the symbol for gold as a sign on his parlor. As he covers their old tattoos with his exquisite designs, Fabrice practices his human alchemy on each of them, subtly luring them into submission, humiliation, and confusion. With Rohypnol in his pocket he visits the women, at their invitations. As his art covers their physical past, his personality and private rituals obliterate their senses of self. Only one of the women intuits Fabrice's intentions. Can she fight? Is the fight actually a part of his plan for her? Might such rebellion result in the ultimate degradation?the loss of her sanity?