Saturday, December 1, 2012, 1:00 P.M., City Lights Bookstore, San Francisco, CA
An afternoon salon exploring the subject of the autobiography
Dear Dawn: Aileen Wuornos in Her Own Words
published by Soft Skull Press
forward by Phyllis Chesler
Edited by Lisa Kester and Daphne Gottlieb
Between 1989 and 1990, Aileen Wuornos, a hitchhiking prostitute, shot, killed, and robbed seven men in remote Florida locations. Arrested in 1991, Wuornos insisted she had acted in self-defense, but the jury had little sympathy. Condemned to death on six separate counts, she was executed by lethal injection in 2002.
An abused runaway who turned to prostitution to survive, Wuornos has become iconic of vengeful women who lash out at the nearest target. She has also become a touchstone for women's, prostitutes', and prisoners' rights advocates. Her story has inspired myriad books and articles, as well as the 2003 movie Monster, for which Charlize Theron won an Academy Award. But until now, Wuornos's uncensored voice has never been heard.
Dear Dawn is Wuornos's autobiography culled from her ten-year death row correspondence with beloved childhood friend Dawn Botkins. Authorized for publication by Wuornos and edited under the guidance of Botkins, the letters not only offer Wuornos’s riveting reflections on the murders, legal battles, and media coverage, but go further, revealing her fears and obsessions, her rich humor and empathy, and her gradual disintegration as her execution approached. A candid life story told to a trusted friend, Dear Dawn is a compelling narrative, unwaveringly true to its source.
Daphne Gottlieb is an award-winning poet and editor of numerous books including "Fucking Daphne: Mostly True Stories and Fictions" and "Homewrecker: An Adultery Reader", as well as the author of the poetry books "Kissing Dead Girls", "Final Girl", "Why Things Burn" and "Pelt", and the graphic novel "Jokes and the Unconscious" with artist Diane DiMassa. Her work has been widely published in journals including Utne Reader, Tikkun, Nerve.com, McSweeneys.net, Exquisite Corpse, and Instant City. She is also the cover girl on Akashic Books' "San Francisco Noir".