For weeks she had been exchanging e-mails with a writer she admired. Now she would make a frank proposal. He had expanded her world view, she told him, and she’d be in New York at the end of the month. Would he like to sleep with her?
He responded promptly.
Six months later, Ms. Calloway published a 15,000-word story about the brief affair. It couldn’t have surprised those familiar with her work. On Thought Catalog and her personal blog, Ms. Calloway published similar accounts of sexual encounters with Internet acquaintances. She even told the writer she was going to write about him; he gave her his blessing.
We laid side by side.
He asked me to help him get an erection. So I moaned, “I want you to fuck me.”
He laughed. I couldn’t believe it.
“I can’t do it if you’re going to laugh at me.”
I thought then how it’s really unfair how men want and expect you to be really slutty and wild in bed, but they then laugh at you for it. You’re either frigid and boring or you’re unintentionally funny and crazy.
“I’m laughing but it’s also making me hard.”
The piece was shocking for its explicitness—it included a photograph of Ms. Calloway that purported to show the writer’s semen on her face—and the fact that its title was the writer’s name, “Adrien Brody.”
Not really Adrien Brody. That is what we’ve agreed to call this much less famous person because anyone who wants to figure out who he is probably already has. Besides, Mr. Brody could not be reached for comment.
Neither is Marie Calloway really Marie Calloway. It’s a pseudonym inspired by Marie Antoinette, whom Ms. Calloway has sympathized with since the Sofia Coppola film.
Compared to Ms. Calloway’s other stories, “Adrien Brody” made bigger waves in literary New York because Mr. Brody was fairly well known here. He was affiliated with The New Inquiry, a brainy online journal that recently made its debut in a New York Times Styles profile. He also had a girlfriend, an ethical dilemma featured prominently in Ms. Calloway’s account.
And what good was a literary magazine without a little personal intrigue? The Partisan Review wasn’t the Partisan Review until founder Philip Rahv’s girl Mary McCarthy ran off with Edmund Wilson.
Ms. Calloway didn’t set out to be a writer. She grew up shy—essentially a hikikomori (a social recluse, in Japanese), she told The Observer—and blogging platforms LiveJournal and Tumblr became her diaries.
“I wrote to express my worldview/subjectivity because it felt then that no one had any idea,” she said. “I guess ultimately I wanted to connect with others in order to feel less alone.”
She coupled blog posts with photographs of herself, sometimes naked, always under a pseudonym.
In the photo gallery she emailed Mr. Brody, she lolls around in front of a web camera wearing a micro mini skirt and black thigh high stockings. Despite studiously unflattering poses, she looks very pretty and very young, Anna Karina meets Wednesday Addams.
As a writer, her influences were eclectic. Joyce Maynard’s memoirs about her time living with J.D. Salinger resonated with her but she was also fascinated by non-literary Internet it-girls like Cory Kennedy and Bebe Zeva—all of whom escaped their unremarkable youths through proximity to successful older men.
Ms. Kennedy was the jail bait muse of prominent Los Angeles nightlife photographer Mark Hunter. Now 21, she is a correspondent for NYLON TV.
Ms. Zeva (also a pseudonym) was a suburban teenager with a fashion blog until she became the tee-shirt model for Hipster Runoff, acquiring a following so large that Elle wondered if she was the next Tavi.
The poet/novelist/deadpan literary provocateur Tao Lin, once rumored to be the author of Hipster Runoff, made a documentary about Ms. Zeva early this year, in which Ms. Zeva, now 18, poignantly tells him about growing up without a father. Later, Mr. Lin sprays whipped cream on her face and rubs it in her hair.
In April, two weeks after Mr. Lin screened the documentary to a room of squirming journalists at Soho House, Ms. Calloway emailed him a link to a story she had written about losing her virginity, and a photo of herself.
“I liked her ability to describe a memory objectively and interestingly and without preconception or judgment,” Mr. Lin told The Observer in an e-mail.
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