Novelist Kaitlyn Greenidge, author of one of The New York Times’ most anticipated books of 2021, Libertie, and We Love You, Charlie Freeman, has been hailed as a “literary force to be reckoned with” (Buzzfeed). In her forthcoming Scribd Original, Orgy, she draws on the audacity that so often defines her work, imagining a day in the life of a young woman starved for connection and adventure in a city shut down by the COVID pandemic.
Nessa knows she’s a hot mess. She’s strong and impulsive and won’t apologize for it. She moved to Brooklyn from Baltimore to study nursing—or that was the plan. Instead she used the money her mom’s church group raised for her schooling to rent her first place in Brooklyn. Twenty years later and she has zero regrets: She loves her apartment even if the ceiling sags and the heat won’t shut off, even if her chronically uptight cousin Laurie lives with her now, and even if being stuck in it during the pandemic is slowly robbing Nessa of what makes her feel most like her: desire, skin on skin, finding the secret parts of a lover’s body.
When she’s invited to a party downtown, she knows she shouldn’t go but can’t resist. The invite’s subject line billed it as an “orgy,” thrown by some furries she knows. She outfits herself accordingly—pig nose and tail, black leotard, and fetchingly torn stockings—and, despite the disapproval of her cousin and the white boy who’s been camping in her cousin’s bed, she puts on her protective mask and walks out into a city transformed. It may be a lovely summer night, but she can’t help but see all that she and those around her have been missing during quarantine. At the party, she keeps confronting vestiges of her younger self, someone people noticed and who noticed others in reply: men, women, Black and white, gay and straight, nonbinaries, you name it—Nessa could see their beauty and reached to touch it, skin on skin. Now she feels like a ghost.
Who and what she encounters next will make her confront how far she’s willing to go to feel like herself again, to encounter the desire that made the city feel real—and sometimes tantalizingly surreal—for her, and seize that rare and “pure glory of having a body and being alive.” Orgy is a provocative, unforgettable, and sometimes laugh-out-loud funny take on lust and longing in the time of corona, from one of the most exciting writers working today.