Aya De Leon politicizes the pulp fiction genre in her new book "Uptown Thief"
If you came of age in the 90’s in the Bay you might be familiar with Aya de Leon. She was a local slam poet hero who found fame touring the states with her hip hop theater show, Thieves in the Temple. Now, she’s out with her first novel, Uptown Thief, which she calls a “feminist heist novel.” Marisol Rivera is the book’s heroine. She's a kind of sex-positive Robin Hood-- running a resource center for low-income women bankrolled by a high-end escort service. Rivera swindles corrupt CEOs, and funnels the money back to the women supported by her clinic. Aya de Leon came into our studios to speak with KALW’s Jen Chien, and to share an excerpt of her new book.
AYA DE LEON: This book is a heist. The book itself is a cultural heist—I'm stealing an audience that has historically, within the literary industry... read books that don't necessarily have these political values and I'm sneaking these values in there.
To listen to the complete interview, click the audio player above.