Lee Siegel

Typerotica is a portrait, at once hilariously comedic and poignantly nostalgic, of an aspiring artist as a young man. It begins with a visit by the seventy-two-year-old author to his childhood home and his discovery in a basement there of a carton containing a typed manuscript of a story he had written as a twenty-year-old in Paris in 1965. That story, QWERTYUIOP, is about himself as a fifteen-year-old who, having read and been inspired by a contraband copy of Henry Miller’s then still banned Tropic of Cancer, decides that he wants to become an author. In emulation of Miller, Lee Siegel longs to go to Paris and drink French wine, smoke French cigarettes, and have sex with French women.

Imagining, furthermore, that in order to become a writer of compelling literature he needs to learn how to type, he enrolls in a typing class at a secretarial college in Los Angeles and falls in love with the typing teacher. While writing that story in Paris, Siegel falls in love again, this time with a French girl who is trying to teach him her language. And Siegel has recently written that love story, AZERTYUIOP, about the writing of a love story.

The two stories are framed by nonfictional introductions and annotations, including a true account of the author’s relationship with Miller who as a close friend of his parents was a regular visitor to their home.

Both texts have been typed on a vintage Royal De Luxe typewriter as is appropriate since the book elaborates and illustrates an analogy that typing (on a manual typewriter) is (or was once) to writing (literature) what sex is (or once was) to love. The book is about the erotic dimensions of our literary endeavors and about Siegel’s own youthful ambition to become a novelist as that dream was informed by sexual longings and a need to be loved. While the novel is overtly about youthful erotic love, it is more implicitly and essentially about writing about love.

ISBN 978-1-944521-09-7, 222 pages, 6.69" x 9.61".

Coming soon in August 2020