Synopses & Reviews
From getting kicked out of Bible study to metaphysics with strippersa misanthrope's wickedly witty observations about the ridiculous, raunchy, and frequently disturbing impulses that propel human existence.
With the wit of David Sedaris and the analytical sharpshooting of Sloane Crosley, Ashley Cardiff spares no oneleast of all herselfin an absurd and relentlessly funny journey of sexual development.
Cardiff reflects on her introverted, awkward and too-smart teenage years to her slightly bolder (but still uncomfortable) adult relationships, all while exploring the rich anthropological terrain of sex and love. Expounding on dating Mormons, the inherent weirdness of adolescent development, sexual nightmare-fantasies about Prince, family members' sex tapes, and narrowly avoiding a teenage orgy, Cardiff recognizes sexuality for the anxiety-making force it is. Weaving adept analysis with hilarious anecdotes, she goes for something much deeper than a rant, crafting satire that's as smart as it is ruthless.
Delivering fresh, unapologetic views from the perspective of a precise and ferociously irreverent young female writer, Night Terrors is a rollicking manifesto on the agonies of modern life and love.
"In this riotous memoir, TheGloss.com deputy editor Cardiff turns a gimlet eye on sex not the fun adult kind, but the horrible transition from innocence to experience, a passage she calls 'a big purple Jungian k-hole... you don't know what it is, you know it's bad and you're obsessed with it.' The book traces a kind of warped arc from youth to sexual maturity, and the best passages describe Cardiff's faltering first steps into sexuality: her formative encounter with a skeevy New Age sexual athlete who'd 'never had sex... but made love at least a thousand times'; misinformed tween rumors about what happens after anal sex; and a disastrous attempt at faking sexual precocity ('I have, like... four... anal beads in ,' she says to a cool older girl). But there are flashes of sweetness in the midst of this. For all the fun Cardiff makes of the idiocy of her youth ('My knowledge of France at sixteen was informed entirely by the chef in The Little Mermaid.'), she astutely notes that 'all feelings are at once more lucid and baroque when we're seventeen.' It's to Cardiff's credit that these feelings, no matter how overwrought they were at the time, are remembered here with humor, sensitivity, and wisdom. Agent: Erin Malone, WME Entertainment. (June)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
“laugh-inducing, highly relatable, and appealing”
“excellent new book of essays."
“For all the fun Cardiff makes of the idiocy of her youth, she astutely notes that ‘all feelings are at once more lucid and baroque when were seventeen. Its to Cardiffs credit that these feelings, no matter how overwrought they were at the time, are remembered here with humor, sensitivity, and wisdom.”
—Publishers Weekly, Starred Review and Pick of the Week
“Night Terrors reminds us that we all used to be younger and dumber, but the education we got along the way was priceless, and hindsight can make it hilarious.”
About the Author
Ashley Cardiff is a columnist for The Gloss and contributes to many other sites. She holds a degree in Classics and lives in north Brooklyn with a dog she resents.