"And O God there may be few laughs left in me but they're not never ever going to come out unless there is a laugh left in somebody else somewhere and he laughs first."

- J.P. Donleavy from The Lady Who Liked Clean Rest Rooms
This review of first appeared in The Kirkus Review, April 15, 1997.

"The Lady Who Liked Clean Rest Rooms: The Chronicle of One of the Strangest Stories Ever to Be Rumoured About Around New York"

The famed author of The Gingerman [sic] [Ginger Man] shows - in this angst-and-arsenic-laced little bonbon - that there's plenty of wit and heart in the writer yet. At 42, beautiful Mrs. Steve Jones lives a splendid life indeed in her fine mansion at number 17 Winnapoopoo Road in Scarsdale - or does, that is, until husband Steve leaves her for a bimbo: at which time Mrs. Jones, who's been born, bred (in a southern state), and educated always and only to be the finest an most tasteful and discriminating of ladies, washes her hands of him for keeps in exchange for the mansion itself and a cool hundred-sixty-five thousand. And? Well, a downward spiral follows, sadly, as inept and dishonest brokers lose huge gobs of Jocelyn's money (full name, if needed for reference; Jocelyn Guenevere Machantiere Jones), as classy neighbors begin to snub her, as she starts to drink more, and as she feels increasingly like the mad girl across the road who appears at the window from time to time, in handcuffs. Selling the mansion (after first shooting her TV set with a priceless shotgun) gives her money enough to survive by moving to an apartment in a lesser neighborhood - then to another in a still lesser neighborhood - and to continue doing the only thing she really wants, which is to make train stops into the city to visit the art museums and find clean bathrooms to pee in. Once clean bathroom she knows of happens to be in a funeral parlor and - by now she's falling into true, suicidal despair - her chancing to use it at just a certain moment with have a huge effect (and at the same time none at all) on her fate. A brilliantly brief, gloriously irreverent, perfectly raunchy, wonderfully hilarious - and sad, melancholy, tearful look at one woman's life. (Eight illustrations by Elliot Banfield are just as good as the book.)

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