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John Waters:  Role Models

John Waters is known as the supreme master of “camp,”   but he’s also a surprisingly nuanced writer.   Water’s new book is a personal and sincere paean to some of the larger-than-life characters that have served as sources of inspiration for both his films and his life.

Product Description:

“Role Models is, in fact, a self-portrait told through intimate profiles of favorite personalities—some famous, some unknown, some criminal, some surprisingly middle-of-the-road. From Esther Martin, owner of the scariest bar in Baltimore, to the playwright Tennessee Williams; from the atheist leader Madalyn Murray O’Hair to the insane martyr Saint Catherine of Siena; from the English novelist Denton Welch to the timelessly appealing singer Johnny Mathis—these are the extreme figures who helped the author form his own brand of neurotic happiness.”

Due: May 25

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Goon

Jennifer Egan:  A Visit from the Goon Squad

Jennifer Egan is one of our own personal  literary divas.  Her writing is whip-smart,  funny,  brutal, and often eerily prophetic.   Egan can be counted on to cannily take on post-modern themes of cultural dislocation and anxiety, but never at the cost of conveying her character’s humanity.

Product Description:

A Visit from the Goon Squad is a book about the interplay of time and music, about survival, about the stirrings and transformations set inexorably in motion by even the most passing conjunction of our fates. In a breathtaking array of styles and tones ranging from tragedy to satire to PowerPoint, Egan captures the undertow of self-destruction that we all must either master or succumb to; the basic human hunger for redemption; and the universal tendency to reach for both—and escape the merciless progress of time—in the transporting realms of art and music.  Sly, startling, exhilarating work from one of our boldest writers.

Due: June 8

Knopf

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Bret Easton Ellis:  Imperial Bedrooms

Bret Easton Ellis provided us eighties and nineties babies with a continuous series of literary zeitgeisty moments.   He was the first writer who created a love-lorn gay character who listened to The Smiths.   For that alone we will follow him to the moon.

Product Description:

Bret Easton Ellis’s debut, Less Than Zero, is one of the singular novels of the last thirty years, and he now follows those infamous teenagers into an even more desperate middle age.

Clay, a successful screenwriter, has returned from New York to Los Angeles to help cast his new movie, and he’s soon drifting through a long-familiar circle. Blair, his former girlfriend, is married to Trent, an influential manager who’s still a bisexual philanderer, and their Beverly Hills parties attract various levels of fame, fortune and power. Then there’s Clay’s childhood friend Julian, a recovering addict, and their old dealer, Rip, face-lifted beyond recognition and seemingly even more sinister than in his notorious past.

But Clay’s own demons emerge once he meets a gorgeous young actress determined to win a role in his movie. And when his life careens completely out of control, he has no choice but to plumb the darkest recesses of his character and come to terms with his proclivity for betrayal.

Due June 15

Knopf

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Chuck Palahniuk:  Tell-All

We here at Mary just found out Chuck Palahniuk was gay last month, so consider us slow on the up take.   His new book takes on the gossip mill of  the old “Bette Davis-Joan Crawford era” Hollywood.  Needless to say we can’t wait for Palahniuk’s,  sure to be transgressive, take on an  era that we hold near and  dear to our hearts.

Product Description:

Soaked, nay, marinated in the world of vintage Hollywood, Tell-All is a Sunset Boulevard–inflected homage to Old Hollywood when Bette Davis and Joan Crawford ruled the roost; a veritable Tourette’s syndrome of rat-tat-tat  name-dropping, from the A-list to the Z-list; and a merciless  send-up of Lillian Hellman’s habit of butchering the truth that will have Mary McCarthy cheering from the beyond.

Our Thelma Ritter–ish narrator is Hazie Coogan, who for decades has tended to the outsized needs of Katherine “Miss Kathie”  Kenton—veteran of multiple marriages, career comebacks, and cosmetic surgeries. But danger arrives with gentleman caller Webster Carlton Westward III, who worms his way into Miss Kathie’s heart (and boudoir). Hazie discovers that this bounder has already written a celebrity tell-all memoir foretelling Miss Kathie’s death in a forthcoming Lillian Hellman–penned musical extravaganza; as the body count mounts, Hazie must execute a plan to save Katherine Kenton for her fans—and for posterity.

Due: May 5

Double Day

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