2. Love, Loss and Longing in the Age of Reagan

Love, Loss, Longing


Iris Dorbian.

THE EDITOR: Various (including myself, a professional editor).


SUMMARY: Love, Loss and Longing in the Age of Reagan: Diary of a Mad Club Girl is a young adult coming of age story set in downtown New York City in the early 1980s. MTV is in its infancy, the Internet does not exist, Ronald Reagan is president and yuppies are running Wall Street. Edie is a naive NYU student desperate to lose her virginity and to experience adventure that will finally make her worldly, setting her further apart from her bland suburban roots. But in her quest to mold herself into an ideal of sophistication and cool, the New Jersey-born coed gets more than she bargained for, triggering a chain of events that will have lasting repercussions.

THE BACK STORY: The story is loosely inspired by my experiences as a college student at NYU in the same period. I had been waiting to write a novel about my wild and wooly misadventures as an undergrad in the greatest city in the world and during a period where so many things we in flux. It was an extraordinary time and I was lucky to have been in the company of so many amazingly creative, gifted and brilliant young people. To give you an idea, Bill Wilhelm (whom New Yorkers know better as Mayor Bill de Blasio) was the president of my NYU dorm when I was living there). But it was also a time charged with uncertainty and youthful indiscretions. In many ways, this novel is my bittersweet tribute to my college years as well as an homage to a period forever lost in time.

I wrote the first draft (which was very different from the current version) ten years ago. I put it aside to work on another book project. Then I went back to it and did a revision. Unfortunately, the second draft lost a lot of the original urgency and momentum. But I didn’t immediately make the necessary tweaks. Life intervened, and I got involved with other things. Last year I went back to it and read it with clear eyes,making notes as to what worked and what didn’t work. The current version is the result.

WHIris DorbianY THIS TITLE? Originally, the title was “Desperate But Not Serious,” from an Adam Ant song from that time period. But I thought it was a bit cutesy using the title of a song for a book that does explore some serious elements. Then I remembered the title of a play that had been performed in New York City around the same time I was trying to come up with a different title. It was called “Love, Loss and what I Wore.” I really liked it and decided to riff on it — Love, Loss and Longing in the Age of Reagan. Recently, I came up with the subtitle “Diary of a Mad Club Girl.” because I thought it would be an enticing hook for readers, as well as giving them an idea of one of the main character’s obsessions while in college (along with taking drugs and a classmate named Peter).

WHY WOULD SOMEONE WANT TO READ IT: I firmly believe that a lot of the issues that Edie and her friends struggle with in my book are issues that young people, past, present and in the future, wrestle with as they make the rough and tumble transition from childhood to adulthood.


“Iris Dorbian’s young adult coming of age story, “Love, Loss and Longing in the Age of Reagan: Diary of a Mad Club Girl,” is a marvelous and compelling tale that reads like a memoir and immerses the reader in New York City during the 1980s. This story is so authentic and real that at times I had to remind myself that I was reading fiction. I fell in love with New York City all over again as I was seeing and experiencing it through Edie’s eyes. Dorbian’s chracters are thoughtfully and carefully crafted, and her plot takes the reader through Edie’s four years at NYU with an intuitive feel for how those college years do rush by, and she conveys that dislocated, sad and nostalgic feeling many seniors get as they approach graduation day. Love, Loss and Longing in the Age of Reagan” is a most impressive debut novel that was a sheer delight to read. It’s most highly recommended.” — Readers’ Favorite.

“A wonderful book! Love, Loss and Longing in the Age of Reagan effortlessly captured the feel and vibe of 1980s New York. Nothing is spared in this illuminating slice of life — the characters, the situations or the setting. As someone who was attending NYU at the time (School of the Arts), I can certainly vouch for the realistic tone the author brings to the book. This is an author to watch.” — Tom, Amazon reader.

“Great fast read book. Since I grew up in the same era, I could really relate to the story. Thanks for the memories, Iris.” — Gail, an Amazon.com reader.

AUTHOR PROFILE: Iris Dorbian is a business journalist/blogger who has covered a wide range of sectors including small business, media, private equity/venture capital and theater/arts. Among the outlets she has written for are the Wall Street Journal, Reuters, Venture Capital Journal, DM News, Playbill, Backstage, Theatermania, PR News and Stage Directions (where she served as editor-in-chief for eight years). She is the author of Great Producers: Visionaries of the American Theater, which was published by Allworth Press in August 2008 and Love, Loss and Longing in the Age of Reagan: Diary of a Mad Club Girl,” which was published by Tablo in February 2015. Her personal essays and short stories have been published in Blue Lyra Review, B O D Y, Embodied Effigies, Diverse Voices Quarterly, Gothesque Magazine and Jewish Literary Journal. A New Jersey native, Iris has a master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University.

AUTHOR COMMENTS: The overall message of the book is, you don’t have to look to your peers, celebrities or the media to be cool; trust yourself and who you are and you will find what you’re looking for. If that’s maturity, as it is with Edie, then so be it.

SAMPLE CHAPTER:   https://read.amazon.com/?asin=B00TTOMNAS.

WHERE ELSE TO BUY IT:  Amazon:  http://www.amazon.com/Love-Loss-Longing-Age-Reagan-ebook/dp/B00TTOMNAS/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1439420407&sr=1-1.

PRICE: $2.99. Right now it’s available in Kindle on Amazon; however, the book will be coming out in print in the future to be determined. 

Linkedin Site: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/iris-dorbian/1/759/358

Twitter site: https://twitter.com/IrisDorbian

Facebook site: https://www.facebook.com/iris.dorbian

Contact info: irisdorbian@gmail.com

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Recently retired after 35 years with the News & Advance newspaper in Lynchburg, VA, now re-inventing myself as a novelist/nonfiction writer and writing coach in Lake George, NY.

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