Born into the beautiful bedlam of downtown New York in the eighties, iO Tillett Wright came of age at the intersection of punk, poverty, heroin, and art. This was a world of self-invented characters, glamorous superstars, and strung-out sufferers, ground zero of drag and performance art. Still, no personality was more vibrant and formidable than iO's mother's. Rhonna, a showgirl and young widow, was a mercurial, erratic glamazon. She was iO's fiercest defender and only authority in a world with few boundaries and even fewer indicators of normal life.
"Literary bravery at it's best"
It was a tenement building at the centre of the drug-addled, punk-edged permanent riot that was iO's corner of the Lower East Side of New York City in the '80s and 90's. There iO grew up - or rather scrabbled up - under the broken wing of a fiercely protective yet wildly negligent mother. Rhonna was a showgirl, an actress, a dancer, a poet. A widow by police murder, she was also an addict. She doted and obsessed over iO yet lacked an understanding that a child needs food and sleep and safety.