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Hitching To Nirvana - a novel
by Janet Mason

Now available in paperback and in e-book

Also available from
Giovanni's Room --
Outwrite Bookstore, Atlanta
Bound to Be Read Books, East Atlanta Village
Coming soon to your local bookseller. Check this space for updates!

A web of sex and drugs and the home she left behind,"Hitching to Nirvana" is an excellent read and very solidly recommended, not to be missed. -- Midwest Book Review

I often find myself being pulled into a story and as a bystander observing what goes on. Janet Mason goes one better—she pulled me into her novel, “Hitching to Nirvana” and I became one of the characters or better put, I merged with the lead character of Adrianne... Everything works and works beautifully and this is more than just a read; it is an experience. -- Amos Lassen (Schlepping through the Best Books and Movies)

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Adrianne, a 45-year old photographer, has been running from her past for all of her adult life. When she returns to the working class tract house neighborhood where she grew up to care for her elderly father, the news that her old high school best friend has died resurrects the ghosts of her adolescence in the 70s - the era between Roe v. Wade and the AIDS crisis. The girls are modern Maenads -- shining, wild and doomed, trying to escape their soul deadening lives with alcohol, sex and drugs.  When Adrianne hits turbulence in midlife — her long-term relationship in crisis, a new love interest beckoning—she finds she must return to the past before she can go on.

Hitching To Nirvana, a novel by Janet Mason(from Chapter 9)

Reveal the Goddess in You

The blue wave was an advertisement—plastered onto the floor—for the Venus Lady Razor. She stared down at the writing on the wave and wondered what it all meant. If there was a goddess inside of her, did she need to shave herself away to find her? Venus was a great beauty, so much so that she took the wind’s breath away. Before that she was the Great Mother, her fleshy body
encompassing the earth. Adrianne looked down at the wave and pictured a
big hairy woman. She would, naturally, be happy. Adrianne wondered how many Lady Razors that would sell. She was fascinated by the wave that she stood on. Someone had thought about the fact that a woman would stand on this wave and imagine herself rising from the sea. If she had her camera, she could have photographed herself from the knees down, standing on the wave. Adrianne remembered when she had first started shaving her legs. The hair on her legs had always been sparse and light, but she felt compelled to shave, starting from her adolescence
when shaving was a stepping stone to becoming a woman—like plucking your eyebrows and getting your period. All three had made her bleed. She was usually hungover or in a hurry and she had often ended up cutting herself, her skin hanging in a thin shaven strip, its tracks filling with blood. She stood on the wave and looked at the selection of women’s razors. A dazzling array hung from tiny hooks on the wall. One was a pink disk with a leg shaped indenture at the bottom. Others were slim handled blue and silver, looking like space age probes. All had flat
edged razors at the end—sheathed to varying degrees—but sharp, poised to cut.

Adrianne wondered now if that was what she had been doing as an adolescent, cutting away at herself to find the Goddess. Perhaps that was why men had been trying to get inside the girls. Maybe they knew there was a Goddess in there. The slash marks she made on her legs
may have been some kind of hieroglyphics that she was not yet able to read. She had studied a little Greek—written and conversational—a few years ago in preparation for her trip. Now she could see the similarities between the characters of this ancient language and the marks
she had slashed into her legs. In her haphazard adolescent hands, the razor wrote the Lambda symbol into her leg: a straight line veering off into a triangle. Some of the hieroglyphics she had carved into her legs predated meaning: three slashes, one smaller than the other, a flap
of thinly sliced skin trailing from each one. Maybe she had made the cuts intentionally. Perhaps the bloodlines had been trying to tell her something.

Diane, Helen, Thea, Art, Dana—Adrianne.
Even before they were gone, they were always trying to disappear.
Dieting, shaving, plucking.
Drugs, alcohol.




















































































































































From the introduction, by Jim Cory:

This is not a tale of triumph or redemption so much as a long look back, recast now in terms that re-create that past as Greek Mythic storytelling, here deployed to make the point that this grit-splattered picture of adolescent and present-day Levittown is historical pattern rather than anomaly.  Her women could be goddesses, but in this anti-culture they're both unappreciated and expendable.  Trying (and failing) to be a straight high school slut with a boyfriend, when what she really wants is to be a goddess with goddess girlfriends, leads Adrianne to conclude, among other things, that her sex works against her, a loaded deck if there ever was one.

Hitching to Nirvana is a fierce and spellbinding story of modern Maenads, the ecstatic frenzied women of ancient Greece. It's the 70s and the girls are shining, wild, and doomed, trying to escape their soul-deadening lives with alcohol, sex, and drugs. The writing is gorgeous and the story is universal and compelling. Janet Mason's girl characters are heartbreakingly familiar; their fates are tragic and mythic, making this novel a mesmerizing emotional ride.
Kathy Anderson, playwright/writer

In her novel, Hitching to Nirvana, accomplished readings/appearances, Janet Mason, harnesses working class grit and sensibilities to profound spirituality.  This novel is “experimental” in the best sense of the word.  The writing takes chances that lead to a greater understanding of class, gender, mythology, love, friendship, and family. Maria Fama, readings/appearances, Looking For Cover

Hitching to Nirvana is a magnetic forcefield, not just pulling us beautifully into the story, but into our own lives.  It's rare when a writer can open the shared world with such a deft, personal touch.  Janet Mason is a genius.
--CAConrad, readings/appearances of The Book of Frank

Janet Mason is an award winning writer of fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry whose literary commentary is regularly featured on This Way Out, an international LGBT radio syndicate based in Los Angeles and aired on more than 400 radio stations in the U.S. and also in Australia, New Zealand, and throughout Europe.

Excerpts of her completed novel, Hitching To Nirvana, have been mentioned in The Kirkus Review and published in Drive: women’s true stories from the open road (Seal Press/Avalon Books); the Exquisite Corpse; Swell (a Chicago-based e-zine); Schuylkill Valley Journal of the Arts; and Philadelphia Poets