Iris Owens (née Klein) (1929–2008) was born and raised in New York City, the daughter of a professional gambler. She attended Barnard College, was briefly married, and then moved to Paris, where she fell in with Alexander Trocchi, the editor of the legendary avant-garde journal Merlin and a notorious heroin addict, and supported herself by producing pornography (under the name of Harriet Daimler) for Maurice Girodias’s Olympia Press. Back in the United States, Owens wrote After Claude, which came out in 1973. A second novel, Hope Diamond Refuses, loosely based on her marriage to an Iranian prince, was published in 1984.
Funny and foulmouthed, Harriet tears around Greenwich Village insulting friend and foe alike. But when the French rat Claude leaves her (or did she leave Claude?), Harriet is adrift. That is, until she discovers an unlikely savior in a dark room at the Chelsea Hotel. Spikey with mockery, carbon steel wit and mature observation. —The Village Voice