David Henry Sterry

Author, book doctor, raker of muck

David Henry Sterry

Month: March 2005

Chicken in Erotica.com: “A page-turner”

“Terrifically readable… Sterry’s an adventurer who happens to feel and think deeply. He’s written a thoroughly absorbing story sensitively and with great compassion… A page-turner… This is a strange story told easily and well.”

— Eileen Berdon, Erotica.com

To see more & buy book, click here.

What People Said About Chicken: A-1 Ho Show

Chicken: A 1-Ho Show

“The show was great to see! David is an awesome performer/actor/writer. Pure poetry in motion. Nice to finally get the hetero male perspective of sex work.”
– Annie Sprinkles.


“The show was absolute amazing and to let me know if he’s showing it again as I’d love to invite more friends!”


“I loved the show. What struck me most was the love you had for your life and how it came through in the show (healing is so wonderful ain’t it? I loved the simplicity in set and the choice to use only the bench as a prop/set piece … the choreography/direction was marvelous… your writing is wonderfully poetic, and your love for words comes shining through.”


“I wish I knew enough superlative adjectives to use in praise of Chicken. All I can say is that it was wonderful. He was mesmerizing and pulled me into the life of a naive Texas boy thrown out on the street and into the arms of the wolves in Hollywood. He is truly a gifted actor and the way he not just described in words but make real through his body language and movement the people in his world to life was awsome – man or woman they were equally real to me. I felt not only his truths but theirs. Thank you David for letting me (and the rest of the world) so truthfully into your experiences.


“The performance last night was nothing short of spectacular. Your writing is so wonderfully poetic, funny, and sad. I love works that can make me laugh and cry. Yours did the trick. And I loved the physicality of the show. You really brought the writing to life–so animated, very rich 3D imagery and characterizations. I’m certainly going to tell everyone I know to see the show.”


“L-O-V-E-D the show. Honest and truly. We talked about it the whole walk home.”


“You are not just a great actor. You are a shape shifter. I saw you look different for each character. I SAW Sunny, his ‘fro, his caftan, SAW Kristi, I SAW the teenie bopper runaway. I saw your face go silly-putty-sideways, and your Dad come out….You could wipe the floor with Robin Williams in a goofy character face-off. I LOVED Sunny. Some of my best friends have been 70s black hippie faggots. Vocally, just for the pure Barry White honey of the voice, I loved Sexy. You have transmitted your pain into art, and now the artistic rendering of your tormentor brings pleasure. That’s alchemy. Shamanism, magic, healing. Of course, laughter is the strongest medicine… You’re also a word candy daddy, West Coast writers’ school: Tom Robbins, Rob Brezhney, David Sterry dishing out chewy delicious mouthfuls of succulent syllables. Basically, you rock. Love the opening stroll down H’wood blvd, with those split second portraits. Dynamite, dude.”


Time Out San Francisco

“A funny, poignant story that examines issues both hard-hitting and universal.”

— Time Out San Francisco

The San Francisco Weekly on Chicken: “Humor, energy, & a sharp eye

sfweekly.jpg“Sterry tells a sad and harrowing story with humor, energy, and a sharp eye for the sort of characters an ‘industrial sex technician’ might meet in the weird aftermath of the ‘60s.”

— Michael Scott Moore, The San Francisco Weekly (Theater section)


To buy Chicken, click here.

chicken 10 year anniversary cover


The San Francisco Examiner on Chicken: “A Rare Pleasure”


“Experiencing [Sterry’s] natural ear for rhythm and timing, we are reminded of what a rare pleasure it is to see a writer perform his own work. Much like beat poetry, Sterry’s carefully crafted, simple language infuses mundane situations with dream-like profundity…Sterry’s portrayal of his 17-year-old self is immediately honest and believable. In fact, the character’s insecure teenage naiveté juxtaposed with Sterry’s masterful control of poetic dialogue is what balances the show…Sterry remarkably creates and portrays his characters.”

— Emily Klein, The San Francisco Examiner

To buy Chicken click here.

The San Francisco Chronicle Reviews Chicken, the 1-Ho Show


“Poignant, humorous…a rare pleasure…funny, moving and original…an exceptional, comically idiosyncratic and revealingly honest look at life in difficult times…Much of the material in the 85-minute one-act is hilarious…Sterry is a sharp comic, using his limber body and versatile voice to create memorably funny portraits of the hungry, lonely, wealthy women who employ his services…Sterry needs no other prop than a wooden bench to get full comic mileage out of the ludicrousness of sex in some wonderfully varied and graphic guises. But what sets “Chicken” apart and gives it depth is the hard, sad reality beneath its Rabelaisian humor…[“Chicken”] is richly entertaining and thought-provoking… [It] speaks cleverly and provocatively to anyone who’s ever been or had a child.”

— Robert Hurwitt, Head Theater Critic to The San Francisco Chronicle

To buy the book on Amazon.  To buy the book on Indiebound.

Josh Cohen, WZZR on Chicken: “I Couldn’t Put it Down”

“Written so well… eloquent, amazing… I couldn’t put it down!”

— Josh Cohen, WZZR Radio

To buy, click here.

chicken 10 year 10-10-13

Chicken Review: “Dark wit and considerable compassion… wickedly funny, baroque”

“Jawdropping… Even as confessional memoirs go, David Sterry’s Chicken stands out from the rest. Alternately farcical, grotesque, brutal and sad… A carefully crafted piece of work… Gives the famous encounter between Dennis Hopper and Isabella Rossellini in “Blue Velvet” a run for its money.”

“Dark wit and considerable compassion… wickedly funny, baroque… sadly, even touchingly human, thanks to Sterry’s matter-of-fact empathy for his disturbed customers… Chicken gets its soul from Sterry’s nuanced portrait of his growing anguish as the work takes him to increasingly scary places, physically and emotionally.”

— Wendy Smith, Amazon

To see more & buy Chicken click here.

chicken 10 year anniversary cover

Spectator Magazine Dr. Carol Queen on Chicken: “Super-readable roller coaster”all


“His memoir is a super-readable roller coaster — the story of a young man who sees more of the sexual world in one year than most people ever do.”

— Dr. Carol Queen, Spectator Magazine

To buy Chicken click here.

chicken 10 year anniversary cover

Readers Write About Chicken: “Like Kerouac, I HAD to read it in one sitting”

Chicken: Self-Portrait of a Young Man for Rent – to buy click here.

chicken 10 year 10-10-13Incredible… your book, it’s like Kerouac. I loved it so much, I HAD to read it in one sitting. I can’t wait for the next book.

I really can’t express how splendid, wonderful, excellent, clever…. (I’m running out of adjectives) your presentation was yesterday. You held a very tough audience absolutely RIVETED for 3 full hours! the beautiful prose coupled with your performance talent is a killer combination. (I kept wanting to stop your reading in order to point out specific narrative techniques you used–how *skillfully* the “technical” aspects of writing contributed to the power of the book. I guess I’ll have to wait until the book is out, and assign it as a classroom text in order to deconstruct it on that level. Alice La Plant – SF State University Professor


I tore through your book in a matter of hours: read it while walking to work, on the BART, in line at the store. Loved it. – SF


I am really looking forward to reading your next book – you are an incredibly gifted writer. The book broke my heart, turned me on, and gave me the vicarious thrill of walking in a man’s shoes (yours) for a day. Thank you for sharing your experiences, and yourself, with me and the world. As with all great books, the last page left me screaming No Wait- I Still Don’t Know What Happened – Juline Koken – NYC


I just finished the book. First, my gratitude for the testimony, for positing the story in the world. Then for the cockygiddyjoygift of your style, grace, clarity, humour and generosity. all this seeping and fuming between bouts of mouth-drying horror and lumpy-throat sexiness. Thanks – Dr. Leon Johnson, University of Oregon


Very powerful–sad, funny, accomplished… Susan Boloton, Workman Press


I was skeptical about reading this memoir because the sex industry is not a subject that I’m especially drawn to. My friend read and loved this book and strongly suggested that I read it. I took her advice and once I began to read I was completely unable to put Chicken down. The writing style of this book flowed so smoothly and was crafted so skillfully that I felt that I was watching the story happen rather than reading it off of a page. This book was fascinating and I commend David Sterry for his honesty and courage. – San Francisco


Just finished you book and enjoyed it very much. Thought I’d reach out and let you know that you touched at least this reader. You have an excellent and articulate voice – looking forward to your next work. Adios, Patrick


Your book has been such a sumptuous meal, a feast on this day where I starved for inspiration. Thanks! For being not only so brave to tell your story but also for being such a true artist. You are so lush, your poetry so rich, phrases pop out at me like valuable diamonds never before seen, never before measured. The juxtaposition of your childhood and the narrative story is brilliant. You taught me so much, you are a magic beacon of light. Grazie mille, Daisy – Hollywood


I hate to invade your email privacy, however, I must tell you that since I received “Chicken” by mail yesterday, I was able to put it down only twice before finishing it. I could all too well identify with your horrors and through your confessions am finding catharsis. (Even though I only finished it ten minutes ago) Congratulations, and thank you. Kyle Bastien – Vancouver


Ye flipping gods. The first passage I peeked at was howlingly funny, so I was expecting something lighter, more tongue-in cheek, maybe even flippant. What I have here is merciless writing, zero to wrenching in less than fifteen pages, at a pace that leaves no time for the reader to wallow. – Oregon


Wow, not only was your book incredibly interesting but your style of writing was THE MOST engaging and enjoyable book I have ever read. I read nonfiction and memoirs, about a book every week and yours was awesome. Good for you with your survival, courage and talent not to mention all of your hard work. I so much appreciate the opportunity to have read your book. I hope you are creating another book that I and others can enjoy. Your perspective, your style, your visions, descriptions and feelings, the way you ran words and sentences together for an amazing affect was a joy to participate in and I thank you again for sharing. Good Luck to you. Congradulations on a fabulous piece of art! Sincerly, Nancy Malone


I love your book. You are so poetic. You have the same wonderfully vivid style. Candye Kane, San Diego


i just wanted to tell you how incredible your book, “chicken” is. it reads “on the road”, like a chicken kerouac. i loved it so much, i HAD to read it in one sitting. i can’t wait for your next book. -a fan. – Alger Batts


I was so moved by your first chapter. I myself am a survivor of sexual abuse so hearing you talk about it definitely makes me feel strong and hopeful for my own situation. (I have been dealing for a year now… I was abused as a five year old by my stepfather… and haven’t been able to write–much less talk–about it yet.) I was one of those teary eyed people after hearing you both read and talk about it, and I wanted to come up to you after class…. but it still has a huge emotional impact on me and I’m one of those girls that hates to cry. Anyway, I didn’t e-mail you to write you my life story, I only wanted to thank you for the generosity to express yours. And to express it so beautifully. So thank you very much. I wish you much luck and lots of return on your book! I’ve already told three people they HAVE to read it… and buy it! UC Berkeley Student – Megan Allen


I nabbed his review copy of Chicken. It obviously took a rare amount of courage to write and publish it – such candour and humour about such a dangerous and soul-destroying situation. Your book describes perfectly the dark split between double lives – I am unfortunately well familiar with it. Aside from this being fan mail, would you like me to send you a check? I feel guilty about reading Chicken without buying it. – Dawna Rae from Toronto


I was blown away. Not just a reading of good material, a performance…It was very intimidating and awfully impressive. – Jan Nash


I love his writing style; it brings you into the story. You will not want to put it down. The fact that this is an autobiography makes the story even more horrifying. Yet since it is a catharsis of a true survivor, it seems that David brings somehow to an unexpected redemption. You must read this book

The Observer on Chicken: “Very funny. A side of the sex-worker’s story that’s rarely heard”

observer-329.jpg“It’s a breezy read, pleasingly free of self-pity. Sterry judges the tone carefully. He’s unflinching and perceptive without being mawkish, and often very funny. And the side of the sex-worker’s story he tells is a rarely heard one.

— The Observer

To buy Chicken click here.

chicken 10 year anniversary cover

Details Magazine





“Priceless material…”

— Details Magazine



“Humorous and charming… Outrageous and entertaining…”

— Michael Williams, BBC 1

BBC Radio

BBC Radio


A beautiful book… a real work of literature… wonderfully written.”

— Vanessa Feltz, BBC Radio

Chicken Review, Book News, UK

“Jawdropping… Even as confessional memoirs go, David Sterry’s Chicken stands out from the rest. Alternately farcical, grotesque, brutal and sad… A carefully crafted piece of work… Gives the famous encounter between Dennis Hoppe and Isabella Rossellini in ‘Blue Velvet’ a run for its money.” — Benedicte Page, Book News, UK

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The New York Times Review of Chicken


“David Henry Sterry has honed a vibrant outrageous style, and turned out this studiously wild souvenir of a checkered past.”

— The New York Times

The San Francisco Bay Guardian Reviews Chicken

San Francisco Bay Guardian[A] refreshingly affectionate portrayal of a naïve young man’s first taste of Los Angeles in mid 1970s…Sterry expertly and economically brings the parade of pimps, nuns, debutantes, rapists, and sexual deviants who populate his past to life…he attacks his evocative prose like a grizzled beatnik poet hitting a home run.

— The San Francisco Bay Guardian

To buy: Indiebound.  Amazon.

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