- Paperback: 350 pages
- Published: 8/1/01
- IBSN: 9781888451184
- Genre: Fiction
Sparrow L. Patterson’s debut novel follows a nineteen-year-old bisexual girl on her whirlwind journey of sexual escapades, drug-induced hallucinations, shoplifting sprees, and other criminal behavior.
Nominated for a Lambda Literary Award (2001)
“Patterson’s sharp-eyed, disaffected but hopeful teenaged heroine Orleigh wends her way through a Midwestern suburban wasteland of Gen-Y anomie, dead-end jobs, petty crime, sex, and drugs, until she is saved by the transformative power of love. An affecting, fresh first novel.”
—Kate Christensen, author of In the Drink
“To call Sparrow L. Patterson’s Synthetic Bi Products a coming-of-age novel is like referring to Bright Lights, Big City as a book about fact checking. Patterson has taken a perhaps familiar story—one of confused kids on the verge of adulthood, wandering aimlessly through shopping malls and on the streets of Chicago and LA—and made it her own, revitalizing her themes with her vibrant voice and prose. Her book makes the reader rethink a world they might have thought they had known by revealing the complex layers of humanity that exist beneath the commonplace. This feat is complemented by Patterson’s engaging central character, a tough, bisexual young woman as uncompromising as the novel itself. This is a masterful debut.”
—Henry Flesh, author of Massage
“Set in the middle of America in the early nineties, this sexed-up picaresque combines the drugged-out zaniness of a Grateful Dead concert with the obsessive, depressive romance of an old Cure song. Read it and weep.”
—Lauren Sanders, author of Kamikaze Lust
Sparrow L. Patterson’s debut novel follows a nineteen-year-old bisexual girl on her whirlwind journey of sexual escapades, drug-induced hallucinations, shoplifting sprees, and other criminal behavior. Searching for identity and meaning, Orleigh runs wild through a landscape of lost children—the mall rats, grunge kids, Deadheads, freaks, and slackers of the early ’90s—first in Chicago then on to LA. Though she might feel lost herself at times, the undaunted, wisecracking Orleigh never shies away from an extreme experience of any kind, or from expressing her opinions. Sexy and romantic, a fast-paced story of lust, deception, and heartache, Synthetic Bi Products is a compelling and original novel narrated in a bold, fresh, funny voice.
SPARROW L. PATTERSON is a novelist and poet living in Chicago. She is a member of the Hodge Podge Art Movement, to which she donates her paintings (the proceeds go to shelters for abused women). Synthetic Bi Products is Patterson’s first novel; she is at work on her second, Diary of a Suicide Queen.