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About the Book


Lyrical, violent, and vibrantly drawn, Skels is a portrait of the urban underworld from a paramedic's point of view. The story is based on an unusual idea: What would happen if the ambulance world was permeated with the works of past authors, and the homeless patients (the "skels") carried the consciousness of the writers? What would a paramedic do if she met a great poet, dirty and covered with lice, and was granted the chance to save him - not from dying but from his own life? A funny, gritty urban thriller, Skels pits corrupt cops, acid tripping holographers, drunken ambulance drivers and punk rock drag queens against this surreal literary environment, portraying a New York City of 1979 rich with an ancient truth that is all but invisible from the outside.

Maggie Dubris worked full time as a 911 medic in New York City for almost 20 years. Drawing on these experiences, she connects the poetry and intensity found in the works of Jack London, Walt Whitman, Rimbaud, and Mark Twain to the CBGB and Maxwell's Kansas City scene and the harrowing stories of NY's poorest poor. In Skels, Dubris shares what she saw: the magic and humor of haunted world that survives to this day inside our own.

by Maggie Dubris

  • Publication Date: May 14, 2004
  • Paperback: 260 pages
  • Publisher: Soft Skull Press
  • ISBN-10: 1932360255
  • ISBN-13: 9781932360257