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Celeste Price is an eighth-grade English teacher in suburban Tampa. She's undeniably attractive. She drives a red Corvette with tinted windows. Her husband, Ford, is rich, square-jawed, and devoted to her.
But Celeste's devotion lies elsewhere. She has a singular sexual obsession--fourteen-year-old boys. Celeste pursues her craving with sociopathic meticulousness and forethought; her sole purpose in becoming a teacher is to fulfill her passion and provide her access to her compulsion. As the novel opens, fall semester at Jefferson Jr. High is beginning.
In mere weeks, Celeste has chosen and lured the lusciously naive Jack Patrick into her web. Jack is enthralled and in awe of his teacher, and, most important, willing to accept Celeste's terms for a secret relationship--car rides after school; rendezvous at Jack's house while his single father works late; body-slamming encounters in Celeste's empty classroom between periods.
Ever mindful of the danger--the perpetual risk of exposure, Jack's father's own attraction to her, and the ticking clock as Jack leaves innocent boyhood behind--the hyperbolically insatiable Celeste bypasses each hurdle with swift thinking and shameless determination, even when the solutions involve greater misdeeds than the affair itself. In slaking her sexual thirst, Celeste Price is remorseless and deviously free of hesitation, a monstress driven by pure motivation. She deceives everyone, and cares nothing for anyone or anything but her own pleasure.
With crackling, rampantly unadulterated prose, Tampa is a grand, uncompromising, seriocomic examination of want and a scorching literary debut.
About the Author
Alissa Nutting is an assistant professor of creative writing at John Carroll University. She is the author of the award-winning collection of stories Unclean Jobs for Women and Girls. Her work has appeared in the New York Times; O, The Oprah Magazine; Tin House; Fence; and Bomb, among other venues. This is her first novel. She lives in Ohio.