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Jonathan Ames:
What's Not To Love?
Jonathan Ames
  What's Not To Love?  
Jonathan Ames    
reading

interview





  The party at Mehanata Bulgarian Restaurant & Bar celebrating Jonathan Ames's new book, What's Not to Love, was an eclectic blend of elements well-suited to the author, storyteller, and occasional boxer who calls himself The Herring Wonder. A who's who of the New York literary scene, including Elizabeth Wurtzel, Bliss Broyard, Jonathan Lethem, and Tom Beller, gathered at Mehanata overlooking the bustling corner of Canal Street and Broadway. Ames fans were treated to an appearance by the author's good friend Harry Chandler, a performance artist and inventor who plays a large role in What's Not to Love. Amid the ingenues clad in iridescent leather and the well-heeled publishing types, Chandler proudly wore his creation, the Mangina, an unnervingly authentic-looking prosthetic device that functions just as its name implies.

What's Not to Love: The Adventures of a Mildly Perverted Young Writer is a compilation of two years worth of Ames's popular New York Press column. Ames waxes eccentric on an array of topics that include his delinquent puberty, his unconventionally-receding hairline, and his enthusiasm for warped adventure. Ames's affinity for all things sexual and scatological is refreshingly disarming; the portrait of him that emerges from such chapters as "Enemas: A Love Story" and "Bald, Impotent, and Depressed" is that of a charming, sensitive, and undeniably honest man.

Ames assures me that, despite his mild manner during our interview, he is actually quite funny on stage. I would assume no less; his stories, which he describes as "exaggerated nonfiction," are at once witty, entertaining, outrageous, and touching. In this issue of Bold Type, you can read an interview with Jonathan and a story from his collection, and listen to the his reading from What's Not to Love.


--Laura Buchwald
 
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