The blindfold hugged her cheekbones. The window was open, the night air blew across her body. She licked her lips, tasting scotch and her own lipstick, the flavor of raspberries. She couldn’t tell if it was raining or not; it sounded like rain outside, but sometimes traffic could sound like rain. She wasn’t sure. She felt confused, cold without her clothes, and the skin itched where her hair brushed against her shoulderblades. She flexed the muscles in her face, trying to shift the blindfold, to let in some thin horizon of light.
But everything was dark.
A breeze blew over her breasts, her stomach. She shivered when his fingers closed on her wrist, tracing lightly the veins in her forearm. She started breathing hard when he took her arm and did that, running his thumb along the artery like it was a blade he was testing.”
--Evelyn Lau, "Pleasure." Fresh Girls and Other Stories. Toronto: HarperCollins, 1993.
Evelyn Lau was born July 2, 1971 to immigrant Chinese parents with a very strong desire to see their children succeed. Evelyn faced pressure to become a doctor, and regular weigh-ins to ensure she remained physically fit. At age ten, her father began experiencing depression after becoming unemployed, and increasingly withdrew from his two children. Her mother, whom she has described as neurotic, became increasingly difficult.
Lau began publishing poetry at the age of twelve, and by her early teens had sold work to Prism International. Her mother discouraged her writing, because she considered it a financial dead end. Like many teens, Lau snuck away to experience forbidden pleasures; in her case, this meant claiming she was at the library studying, when she was, in fact, at the library writing. Her creative efforts helped her escape the pressure of home and school, where she was a social outcast with few friends.
In 1986, she ran away from home, took illegal drugs, and worked as a prostitute in Vancouver, British Columbia. Realizing that this lifestyle was not correlated with a high life expectancy, she reformed, wrote and published abook], Runaway (1989), about her experiences, and soon found she had a bestseller. Then she turned nineteen. Runaway was later made into a tv movie, The Diary of Evelyn Lau (1994).
In the years that followed, she continued her education and published many poems , including the volumes You are Not Who You Claim(1990), Oedipal Dreams (1992), In the House of Slaves(1994), and Treble (2005).
In 1993 she published the critically-acclaimed Fresh Girls and Other Stories, a collection of brilliantly-composed, frequently disturbing erotica which I’ve described elsewhere as Penthouse Forum written poetically by someone who understands the implications and consequences of the acts she depicts.
In 1995 she published her first novel, Other Women a work of fiction which nevertheless seems influenced by her 1995-1997 affair with the much older W.P. Kinsella, author of such books as Shoeless Joe (the inspiration for Field of Dreams). In 1997, she wrote candidly about that relationship, resulting in an ultimately unsuccessful lawsuit from her ex-lover.
In 1999 she published a second anthology of short fiction, entitled Choose Me. A collection of non-fiction, Life So Far, appeared in 2001. She has been described as "dark," "brilliant," and "scary." Whereas "Brett Easton Ellis… writes about hip sex," opines Heather Mallick, "Lau writes about it accurately."
Some Sources (other than Lau’s own work, which I heartily recommend):
Anders Blichfeldt. Evelyn Lau. Author Profiles. Northwest Passages.
Elaine K. Chang. "Run through the Borders: Feminism, Postmodernism, and Runaway Subjectivity."
Michaelson, Scott and David E. Johnson (eds). Border Theory: The Limits of Cultural Politics.
Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1997: 169-94.
Heather Mallick.” “Evelyn Lau Exploits Real Life: A Review of Choose Me. Toronto Sun April 18, 1999. http://www.canoe.ca/JamBooksReviewsC/choose_lau.html
Evelyn Lau, interviewed by Linda Richards. January Magazine. http://www.januarymagazine.com/profiles/lau.html