Toxicology by Jessica Hagedorn

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 7 Critic Reviews



"Highly entertaining...[Hagedorn] is an exceptional storyteller."
-The Boston Globe

Jessica Hagedorn's ferociously entertaining new novel centers on two women who are neighbors in Manhattan's West Village: Mimi Smith, a filmmaker whose only screen credit is a notorious low-budget slasher movie, and Eleanor Delacroix, a legendary, scandalous literary figure now nearing eighty. Their personal and artistic lives begin to converge in unexpected ways as Eleanor grieves over the death of her longtime lover, the renowned painter Yvonne Wilder, and as Mimi confronts the challenges presented by the mysterious disappearance of her boyfriend, by her newly sober if still somewhat loopy brother, and by her wayward teenage daughter. Toxicology is a fearless, playful, and savagely funny novel about the collision of art, fame, money, love, desire, and mortality.


About Jessica Hagedorn

See more books from this Author
JESSICA HAGEDORN, novelist, poet, and playwright, was born and raised in the Philippines and moved to America in her teens. Her books include the novels Dogeaters (a finalist for a National Book Award and the recipient of an American Book Award), The Gangster of Love, and Dream Jungle (a New York Times Notable Book), and Danger and Beauty, a collection of selected poetry and short fiction. She was the editor of the Asian American fiction anthology Charlie Chan Is Dead. She lives in New York City.
Published April 14, 2011 by Penguin Books. 241 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Toxicology

Kirkus Reviews

See more reviews from this publication

There is also Mimi's brother, Carmelo, a once-reformed druggie and sometime musician, and most provocatively, there is Mimi's downstairs neighbor, the elderly Eleanor Delacroix, a writer of measurable talent mired in grief because of the death of her longtime lover, Yvonne Wilder.

| Read Full Review of Toxicology

Publishers Weekly

See more reviews from this publication

Hagedorn's fiery latest (after Dogeaters) introduces Mimi Smith, whose notorious first film, Blood Wedding, an art-house gore-fest, garnered critical acclaim.

Nov 22 2010 | Read Full Review of Toxicology

New York Journal of Books

See more reviews from this publication

Early in Jessica Hagedorn’s fourth novel, Toxicology, filmmaker Mimi Smith is confronted on a New York subway by a poetry-spouting homeless man who asks her “Can you help me out with some change or a piece of wisdom?” Mimi, as we learn during the course of this sharp-edged and energetically creat...

Apr 18 2011 | Read Full Review of Toxicology

AV Club

See more reviews from this publication

“Torn from today’s headlines” usually signifies trash art, a cash-in, or worse, so it’s something of an inauspicious beginning when the novel Toxicology kicks off with the death of “Romeo Byron,” a Heath Ledger stand-in.

Apr 21 2011 | Read Full Review of Toxicology

Dallas News

But the feeling soon deserts her, and Mimi wanders off, not so much meditating on the transience of life as pondering the possibility of scoring a quick high.

May 16 2011 | Read Full Review of Toxicology


It is peculiar that Jessica Hagedorn 's fourth novel, Toxicology , is preceded by epigraphs about Lorca 's idea of the duende —an enigmatic Spanish term "about the struggle and state of possession that go into making great art," as one of her characters puts it.

May 05 2011 | Read Full Review of Toxicology

Live Journal

As the novel shifts more and more to Eleanor’s story, we’re right their with her sassy, drug-induced persona and yet, it will be Violet Smith, Mimi’s daughter, who will actually get the “last” say of the novel, perhaps Hagedorn’s nod to the apathy of the generation growing up under the guise of i...

May 13 2011 | Read Full Review of Toxicology

Rate this book!

Add Review