Novels focus on gritty realism, anger, loss, family dysfunction

Like a Woman

Debra Busman’s novel, “Like a Woman,” follows Taylor, a teenage girl growing up on the streets of L.A. Taylor comes from poverty and knows one thing best — how to steal. When life with a drunken union-organizer mom becomes too unpredictable, Taylor splits and makes her way by the oldest profession in the world. Contradiction gives her character complexity, drawing the reader in: Taylor will cut any john who threatens her or her girlfriend, but she carries literature on nonviolence wherever she goes. Taylor has a gift for speaking to animals while regarding most humans with mild distrust.

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