Published by Unnamed Press
SILVER GIRL Blog Tour
About The Book:
It’s the early 1980s. Ronald Reagan’s economy will trickle down any day now, and Chicago’s Tylenol Killer has struck: an unknown person is stuffing cyanide into capsules, then returning them to drugstore shelves.
Against the backdrop of this rampant anxiety, one young woman, desperate to escape the unspoken secrets of her Midwestern family, bluffs her way into the fancy “school by the lake” in Chicago. There she meets Jess, charismatic and rich and needy, and the two form an insular, competitive friendship. Jess’ family appears perfect to the narrator’s wishful eye, and she longs to fit into their world, even viewing herself as a potentially better daughter than the unappreciative Jess. But the uneven power dynamic chafes the narrator, along with lingering guilt about the sister she left behind. Her behavior becomes increasingly risky – and after Jess’ sister dies in murky circumstances and the Tylenol killer exposes the intricate double life of Jess’ father, she finds herself scrambling for footing. Nothing is as it seems, and the randomness of life feels cruel, whether one’s fate is swallowing a poisoned Tylenol or being born into a damaged and damaging family.
SILVER GIRL is a cousin to Emma Cline’s The Girls and Emily Gould’s Friendship in its nuanced exploration of female friendship, with the longing of Stephanie Danler’s Sweetbitter.
Leslie Pietrzyk is the author of two novels, Pears on a Willow Tree and A Year and a Day. This Angel on My Chest, her collection of linked short stories, won the 2015 Drue Heinz Literature Prize and was published by the University of Pittsburgh Press in October 2015. Kirkus Reviews named it one of the 16 best story collections of the year. A new novel, Silver Girl, is forthcoming from Unnamed Press in February 2018. Her short fiction and essays have appeared/are forthcoming in many publications, including Hudson Review, Southern Review, Arts & Letters, Gettysburg Review, The Sun, Shenandoah, River Styx, Iowa Review, TriQuarterly, New England Review, Salon, Washingtonian, and the Washington Post Magazine. She has received fellowships from the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference and the Sewanee Writers’ Conference. Pietrzyk is a member of the core fiction faculty at the Converse low-residency MFA program and often teaches in the MA Program in Writing at Johns Hopkins University. Raised in Iowa, she now lives in Alexandria, Virginia.
- What is on your nightstand?
Unfortunately, about two feet of clutter—but under that clutter is a copy of AN AMERICAN MARRIAGE by Tayari Jones; a book of stories I picked up because I liked the cover, BOBCAT AND OTHER STORIES by Rebecca Lee; and folded-over, half-read copies of The Sun and The New Yorker magazines. I recently read THE POWER by Naomi Alderman, which I thought was super-smart.
- What author would you totally fan?
I saw Sherman Alexie give a reading/talk, and I’d walk on my knees over glass to listen to him again. He made us all laugh and cry. I’d love to hang out longer and hear all his stories. Another writer whose books I love but who sort of scares me is Lionel Shriver. She’s written some incredibly intense novels about intense topics. WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT KEVIN is my favorite.
- What makes you cringe?
Misplaced apostrophes, especially if they are on a sign.
- Do you obsessively plot out each point or just go with the flow?
I go with the flow, until I can’t stand it at which point I have to stop everything and write out some plot ideas for the book ahead. Then once I’m back working, I ignore those written-out plot points because better ideas come to me during the loose flow of the writing.
- Is there a word you love to use?
I was recently caught using “abruptly” in three sentences in a row in a story that’s going to be published! So embarrassing. Probably the word I know I most overuse is “fabulous” and probably the word I most love to work into a conversation is “faux.” (Doesn’t that one just look great typed out…isn’t that X fabulous?) And not a word, but I adore exclamation points in emails!!
Giveaway Details: International
3 winners will receive a finished copy of SILVER GIRL, US Only.
Ends on March 20th at Midnight EST!
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