In her debut novel, singer and essayist Simone tackles our hyperlinked culture in all its short-attention-spanned, privacy-deprived, cult-of-celebrity glory. After getting downsized out of her cubicle in a New York City law firm, 37-year-old Anna Kestler finds herself adrift. She can’t relate to her younger roommate, who interns around town and parties with a cool crowd. When not dreading her weekly meetings with a longtime friend, she obsesses over spam and wastes time surfing the Web. She fails to follow through on her grand ideas; even the camcorder she buys to make a documentary sits in its box beyond the return date. Through a Craigslist ad, she becomes an unpaid production assistant for a microbudget filmmaker and devotee of Nowism whose new project documents people’s failed aspirations. His assignments blur the line between virtual and real life even as he promises to help her beat her Internet addiction. Simone (You Must Go and Win) skewers the self-absorbed world in which Anna is caught up with incisive writing and her observations are often so clever they deserve reading aloud. The dénouement stuns more than it should, but by then readers will be standing in Anna’s shoes. Agent: Merrilee Heifetz, Writers House. (June 4)
Reviewed on: 03/25/2013 Release date: 06/04/2013 Genre: Fiction
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