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Farrar, Straus & Giroux, April 2020
In 1963 after the death of her mother, seventeen-year-old Susanna Moore leaves her home in Hawai’i with no money, no belongings, and no prospects to live with her Irish grandmother in Philadelphia. She soon receives four trunks of expensive clothes from a concerned family friend, allowing her to assume the first of many disguises she will need to find her sometimes perilous, always valorous way.
Her journey takes her from New York to Los Angeles where she becomes a model and meets Joan Didion and Audrey Hepburn. She works as a script reader for Warren Beatty and Jack Nicholson, and is given a screen test by Mike Nichols. But beneath Miss Aluminum’s glittering fairytale surface lies the story of a girl’s insatiable hunger to learn and her anguished determination to understand the circumstances of her mother’s death. Moore gives us a sardonic, often humorous portrait of Hollywood in the seventies, and of a young woman’s hard-won arrival at selfhood.
Coming June 11, 2020 (UK) from Weidenfeld & Nicolson
The New Yorker, May 2020
"But, though the events she describes are often upsetting, Moore’s touch is cooler than a writer like [Jane] Maynard’s, her prose spare, her eye quietly ironic. One gets a sense that what is revealed has been chosen appraisingly, not out of coyness but, rather, out of something resembling an architect’s appreciation of a structure’s good bones. Moore’s writing has the slightly mysterious sense of detachment that she adopted when building her persona, many years ago, though paradoxically this is what makes her revelations, when they come, more piercing."
New York Times, April 2020
"All of this Moore recounts with — what is that inflection? Not rue, not regret, not extraneous affect; the reader is invited to supply all of that herself, and the effect is both mesmerizing and sometimes maddening...She came, she saw, she took notes, and she left to become a novelist and a miss-no-detail student of female autonomy."
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The Washington Post, April 2020
"Moore’s voice on the page is sometimes reminiscent of one of her mentors, Joan Didion, in its spellbinding rhythms and effortless transition between the physical and the intellectual."
Avenue Magazine, March 2020
"...how a lost child of Hawaii made her way by shrewd observation, self-invention, and serendipity into a very exclusive world. [Moore's] honesty is both timely and courageous."
Kirkus Reviews, April 2020
"A novelist’s engaging coming-of-age memoir...A captivating portrait of a woman in search of herself."
Publishers Weekly, March 2020
"Moore’s search for stability during a free-spirited decade is a whirlwind of celebrity encounters and a lyrical exploration of the lingering effects of a mother’s death."
"As is perhaps fitting for an award-winning author (Paradise of the Pacific, 2015), Moore's
childhood in the 1950s was straight out of a Brothers Grimm fairy tale. After their mother died young and under unexplained circumstances, Moore and her siblings were at the mercy of a hateful stepmother, who succeeded in banishing them from their home in Hawaii to live in decidedly reduced circumstances with their Irish grandmother in Philadelphia. Wealthy women took pity on her, tossing their cast-off designer frocks her way. It was enough of a safety net to conjure a career as a model, for Moore epitomized the Sixties Look: dewy innocence that thinly eclipsed a smoky sensuality. She put these qualities to good use, traveling from New York to Los Angeles, from fashion to film, where she cavorted in heady circles with the likes of Joan Didion and Audrey Hepburn. Having been intermittently employed as a script reader for Warren Beatty and Jack Nicholson, Moore was perched at the periphery of Hollywood’s fast lane, which makes for a tantalizing tale, told in a seductive and provocative voice."
— Carol Haggas
Vogue excerpt, "House Sitting for Joan Didion"
Farrar, Straus & Giroux Reading Group Guide
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