Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Bruce Bauman's Guide to Books and Booze

Time to grab a book and get tipsy!

Back by popular demand, Books & Booze, originally a mini-series of sorts here on TNBBC challenges participating authors to make up their own drinks, name and all, or create a drink list for their characters and/or readers using drinks that already exist. 

Today, Bruce Bauman breaks down his novel Broken Sleep and lists out his characters' favorite drinks:

Broken Sleep is a family saga that covers more than 80 years. The narrative is propelled by the unconventional relationships between Salome Savant and her two sons, Moses Teumer and Alchemy Savant. There are multiple narrative points of view, all of which introduce many characters. The multiple plot lines and characters intersect and merge as the story progresses and reaches its denouement. The worlds are: art (Salome), academia (Moses), music (Alchemy), and politics (Alchemy and Moses).  I report to you now the favorite alcoholic refreshments eleven main characters, helped along with a bit of authorial commentary.          

Moses Teumer 
History professor with a very serious case of leukemia. Son of Malcolm and Salome. Half-brother of Alchemy.  Vodka suits him best, mixed with lots of tonic, or what he called the Black Russian Jewish-style: 2 parts vodka, 2 parts coffee liqueur and 2 parts Coke.   

Salome Savant
Artist famous or infamous for her Art is Dead performance in the 60s. She is the biological mother of Moses and Alchemy. After a violent breakdown during her Flowers, Feminism, Fornication opening, she is sent to the Collier Layne Mental Health Facility. She often “communes” with her ancestors through DNA travel, one of whom is named Margarita.  
DNA Potion Number 9Drambui, drunk while naked and listening to "Angel of the Morning." (Preferably Nina Simone's version.) Often sneaks it while she is interned in Collier Layne Mental Health Facility.
The Master and The MargaritaTequila, fig jam and sherry. To be consumed alone and at night while waiting for an ancestor to commune with her.  

The Insatiables band (Alchemy Savant, Lux Deluxe, Absurda Nightingale and Ambitious Mindswallow): 
Began in the early 90s in Los Angeles. Before becoming worldwide stars, they hang out in the Pantera Rosa, perhaps the last seedy pre-gentrification bar in Santa Monica, CA. The bar is run by Falstaffa and Marty, who later become roadies for the band. 

The Pantera Rosa Afterhours BombaPrepared differently each night by either Falstaffa or Marty, with an assortment of cheap scotches, gins, vodkas, mezcal, half-filed tonics, cokes, an occasional cigarette ash and whatever else is left over at the end of the night.

Alchemy Savant
The charismatic leader of the Insatiables and second son of Salome Savant.

Absinthe d'OrThe traditional absinthe, with a floating passion flower and spiced with flecks of gold. Always shared with another. And a revolver hidden nearby.  

Ambitious Mindswallow
Born and raised Ricky McFinn in Flushing, Queens. Having served time in a juvenile prison, he is living on the streets of the Lower East when he meets Alchemy and they form an immediate, if seemingly odd friendship. He becomes the bassist for the Insatiables but never loses his fist-first way of acting or his edgy contrariness.    

The Shock and AweAll done in very quick fashion: A Forty can of any beer (preferably PBR), followed immediately by very quick shots of Everclear, and two lines of coke. To be repeated until passing out.  

Absurda Nightingale
Born Amanda Akin in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, she meets Alchemy when they are students at Juilliard. She is the lead guitarist of the Insatiables. She likes her heroin far too much, but she also loves to drink.
Sunshine of Your LoveWhile on tour in Chile, she is introduced to the Pisco Sour. Pisco is a yellowish colored brandy from Peru or Chile, which legend has it was invented by Eliot Stubb, an English steward on a ship named Sunshine. The Pisco Sour is made with pisco, lime juice, a fruit syrup and an egg white. Absurda added Dragon Fruit syrup and took out the egg white. Often drinks it as a chaser after oral sex.         

Lux Deluxe
As a young guy growing up in LA as Lionel Bradshaw, he sat beside his grandfather, who drank really cheap wine while listening to Stick McGhee’s “Drinkin’ Wine Spo-Dee-O-Dee.”  And Lux too, as a young guy, drinks lots of cheap wine.He becomes an aficionado of California wines. Working with Trader Joe’s, they distribute a line of great wine at cheap prices -- Lux Deluxe’s Spo-Dee- Odees. Among them are: The Chuck Berry, the Hansberry, and the bittersweet, Strange Fruit. 

Malcom Teumer
Born in Germany, he immigrates to the U.S. after WWII. He meets Salome Savant when she is a teenager and they have an affair. Salome gives birth to Moses. Malcolm then marries Hannah, who raises Moses and never knows Malcolm’s true identity.  

The Flaming Bastard (Shooter): Dekuyper Hot Damn 100 Proof Cinnamon Schnapps, Hot Pepper Schnapps and tiny pieces of seared ham.    

Hannah Teumer
Adoptive mother of Moses. Born and raised In Brooklyn, NY. 

Not much of a drinker, although she has a fondness for two very different wines. : Manischewitz red, which her parents served at Passover Seders, and Vinho Verde, the native wine of northern Portugal, which Malcolm introduces to her during their brief marriage. He discovered the wine while making his way from Germany to the U.S. after WWII. He wanted to grow it on Long Island in the late 50s but the venture failed. 

Jay Bernes
Moses’ wife. Art consultant. Raised in Miami, by a father who tried many a strange brew.

Jay’s mother favored her husband’s concoction of Havana Club Rum and Hurricane Whiskey with chipped ice, which became Jay’s drink of choice. When Moses tries it, he reacts with “Wow, it burns.” Thus they dub it the The Bernes Burns when served to friends. She begins drinking a bit more than occasionally when Moses becomes ill.    

Nathaniel Brockton: 
A 60s radical who is the longtime lover of Salome’s. His parents were Virginia gentry and alcoholics.  He doesn’t do drugs or drink alcohol.

His favorite drink is Virgin Mint Julep except for very special occasions and then he sips champagne.


Bruce Bauman is the author of the novel And the Word Was. Among his awards are a COLA (City of Los Angeles) Fellowship in Literature, a Durfee Foundation grant, and a UNESCO/Aschberg Fellowship. His work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Salon, BOMB, Bookforum, and numerous anthologies and literary magazines. Bauman is an instructor in the CalArts MFA Writing Program and Critical Studies Department and has been Senior Editor of Black Clock literary magazine since its inception in 2003. Born and raised in New York City, he lives in Los Angeles with his wife, the painter Suzan Woodruff.

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