A novel by Lindsay Ahl

May 1, 2004 • 5 x 7.5 • 230 pages • 978-1-56689-154-7

The ivory trade, smallpox, rock-’n’-roll, and one woman’s past converge in this gripping, psychological page-turner.

In 1975 black market ivory prices are on the rise, Bob Dylan has just released Blood on the Tracks, and nine-year-old Elena Monroe witnesses a brutal murder in a Kenyan river valley. Sixteen years later, Elena must journey from Albuquerque to Africa before her increasingly volatile memories unravel the ties to her mother and cause her to lose the man she loves. In a world of ivory poaching and all-night parties, where Donna Summer’s Love to Love You Baby and the Rolling Stones play until dawn, Elena discovers corruption in the people she loves, and allows her own identity to be altered for survival. Amid a landscape of loss and destruction, Desire is a graphic, historically relevant, and honest exploration of courage, love, and resilience.

About the Author

Lindsay Ahl, author of Desire, grew up in Washington State and New Mexico and spent much of her childhood traveling throughout Europe, Asia, and Africa. She has lived in Mali, Sweden, France, and in New York City, where she worked as a photographer, film producer, actress, and creative writing instructor. Her fiction has appeared in numerous journals and magazines, including BOMB, Global City Review, and Fiction Magazine. She currently lives in Santa Fe with her husband and two children.


Desire is a lyrical, funny and poignant road trip. If Kerouac were a sexy waif of a girl, this is the book he’d write.” —Jamie Callan

“A dense, dreamlike novel. You wake with a sense that your own world has changed because of this foray through the wilds of Africa, New Mexico, and family life.” —Susann Cokal

“No description of this novel will do its quiet vision justice. Lindsay Ahl’s forthright lyricism creates a landscape as mysterious as it is persuasive, as sturdy as it is ethereal.” —Abby Frucht

“The new American innocence is represented in these pages with utter clarity. Self-inventing, restless, and passionate.” —Fanny Howe

“Lindsay Ahl catches the voice of a generation, avid for life and soured on the mistakes and ineptitude of parents who failed to save an endangered world.” —Mark Jay Mirsky

Desire contains a lusty cinematic intensity, conveying an uneasy tale of sexual liberties and repression as well as the lies we tell our lovers.” —Ernesto Quinonez

“Poetical, surreal and unnervingly beautiful, Desire is a novel that breathes life into the reader.” —Frederic Tuten