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Like a Woman



Original Language: English | 256 pp. | Summer 2015

2 Seas Represents: Dutch, French, Danish, Finnish, Icelandic, Norwegian and Swedish Rights.


“First-time novelist Busman begins this gut-wrenching tale of childhood sexual and physical abuse in Los Angeles toward the end of the Vietnam War. At age seven, Taylor is already keeping secrets about her uncle’s late-night visits to her bed and tiptoeing around her violent, alcoholic mother. Three years later she’s smoking pot, running with a band of adolescent thieves, and spending nights alone in the park to escape her mother’s rage-fueled attacks. By the time she’s 15, she’s a full-fledged runaway living on the streets, selling drugs—and herself—to survive. Accustomed to having nothing and no one to rely on, Taylor is shocked to discover a semblance of community, family, and love among the other young girls that call the city’s alleyways and SROs home. But even as she begins to relax into this bit of happiness, a brutalized Taylor looks expectantly, and heartbreakingly, over her shoulder for the blow she expects will come. Switching between past and present and interspersed with musings from an adult Taylor, Busman’s prose is fittingly straightforward and, at times, bleakly, brilliantly sparse. This is a laudable debut.” –Publisher’s Weekly

“A powerful accomplishment…With her protagonist Taylor, Busman has created a unique and memorable American character: a young woman as maternally intuitive as she is bare-knuckled daring, as outwardly forceful as she is inwardly searching, as in control of the streets as she is victimized by them. A person positioned not to just represent but to rise above.” –Heavy Feather

Meet Taylor, a working class white girl too tough and too tender for her own good, struggling to negotiate a chaotic and violent childhood where kids get hurt in their own homes at night. When the violence reaches a crescendo, Taylor turns to the streets, fighting at the drop of a dime and stealing anything she can get her hands on. She hooks up with Jackson, a young black street worker who becomes her girlfriend, and joining them are fellow homeless street kids; high-end sex workers with Ph.Ds; a transvestite who runs a ‘Speak-Easy’ for johns who just want to talk; a Rottweiler named J. Edgar; and a cowboy who eventually helps Taylor get off the streets. Ultimately, Like a Woman is a tale of loss and redemption and the deep undertow that comes with surviving, moving forward, and finally finding home.