A writer for most of her life, American River College professor Lois Ann Abraham strongly articulates her humorous literary voice in her second novel, “Tina Goes to Heaven.”
First intended as a novella, “Tina Goes to Heaven” was later transformed into a full novel throughout the three years Abraham worked on it.
According to Abraham, although the story is a humorous account of a prostitute’s journey in life, it also aims to portray what the life of a prostitute is like, and how it relates to the rape culture of today.
“It is a funny book, and it’s not because prostitution is funny… but because people are, and the situation she gets herself into is funny,” Abraham said.
Abraham hopes to challenge the typical stereotype of prostitutes as being “throwaway people,” but rather as human beings with thoughts, hopes, plans, personalities and flaws.
“I think this culture is really sick in the way that it views women in general… this is just symptomatic of that,” Abraham said.
Although some women choose the sex trade, Abrahams said that there are not very many that do, and most often, sex trafficking is involved.
“The part about prostitution that I really wanted to talk about is that it’s not funny, it’s a crime against humanity to be put in that position by family economics, it’s a form of slavery,” Abraham said.
In “Tina Goes to Heaven,” the characters came to life from bits and pieces of other people’s lives that were created from Abraham’s imagination.
“Some of it just arrived from the ‘muse’,” Abraham said.
The character Tina is what Abraham describes as a “lucky prostitute.”
As the pimps’ best girl, Tina is brought along to the clubs while the other girls are out working the streets getting hurt or beaten up – that is until she is thrown back to the streets.
“I really love this character…I think she’s a very lovable protagonist, and she is certainly intended to be,” said Abraham said. “She’s really a positive person, she just had a really crappy life.”
Aside from her currently published book, Abraham has also published a collection of short stories that she had written over the years titled “Circus Girl.”
Professor Abraham’s last book reading of “Tina Goes to Heaven” will be on December 13 at 6 p.m at the Carmichael library, 5605 Marconi Ave.