Journalist and armchair thrill-seeker Jan Richman gets a freelance assignment to write about the nation's antique wooden roller coasters. Jan takes off across the U.S. to report on a fanatical sub-culture. This picaresque research junket dovetails with the wedding of her Tourette's-riddled father, whom she hasn't seen in years. Brazen and stingingly funny, Thrill-Bent zooms from Coney Island to New Orleans to the San Fernando Valley as our heroine learns how to be truly impulsive in a buttoned-down world.
Jan Richman's Because the Brain Can Be Talked Into Anything (Louisiana State University Press) was chosen by Robert Pinsky for the 1994 Walt Whitman Award from the Academy of American Poets. She has received an NEA grant in Literature, a Nation/Discovery Award, the Celia B. Wagner Award from the Poetry Society of America, the Felix Pollack Poetry Prize from the University of Wisconsin, and a San Francisco Bay Guardian Poetry Prize. She has a B.A. in English from San Francisco State University and an M.A. in Creative Writing from New York University, and has taught writing at Brooklyn College, the Academy of Art University, and San Francisco City College. Richman lives in Oakland, California.