How to Build a Girl: A Novel

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The New York Times bestselling author hailed as “the UK’s answer to Tina Fey, Chelsea Handler, and Lena Dunham all rolled into one” (Marie Claire) makes her fiction debut with a hilarious yet deeply moving coming of age novel.

What do you do in your teenage years when you realize what your parents taught you wasn’t enough? You must go out and find books and poetry and pop songs and bad heroes—and build yourself.

It’s 1990. Johanna Morrigan, fourteen, has shamed herself so badly on local TV that she decides that there’s no point in being Johanna anymore and reinvents herself as Dolly Wilde—fast-talking, hard-drinking Gothic hero and full-time Lady Sex Adventurer. She will save her poverty-stricken Bohemian family by becoming a writer—like Jo in Little Women, or the Bröntes—but without the dying young bit.

By sixteen, she’s smoking cigarettes, getting drunk and working for a music paper. She’s writing pornographic letters to rock-stars, having all the kinds of sex with all kinds of men, and eviscerating bands in reviews of 600 words or less.

But what happens when Johanna realizes she’s built Dolly with a fatal flaw? Is a box full of records, a wall full of posters, and a head full of paperbacks, enough to build a girl after all?

Imagine The Bell Jar written by Rizzo from Grease. How to Build a Girl is a funny, poignant, and heartbreakingly evocative story of self-discovery and invention, as only Caitlin Moran could tell it.

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Caitlin Moran
A hilarious, heartfelt sequel to How to Build a Girl, the breakout novel from feminist sensation Caitlin Moran who the New York Times called, "rowdy and fearless . . . sloppy, big-hearted and alive in all the right ways."

You can’t have your best friend be famous if you’re not famous. It doesn’t work. You’re emotional pen-friends. You can send each other letters—but you’re not doing anything together. You live in different countries.

Johanna Morrigan (AKA Dolly Wilde) has it all: at eighteen, she lives in her own flat in London and writes for the coolest music magazine in Britain. But Johanna is miserable. Her best friend and man of her dreams John Kite has just made it big in 1994’s hot new BritPop scene. Suddenly John exists on another plane of reality: that of the Famouses.

Never one to sit on the sidelines, Johanna hatches a plan: she will Saint Paul his Corinthians, she will Jimmy his Pinocchio—she will write a monthly column, by way of a manual to the famous, analyzing fame, its power, its dangers, and its amusing aspects. In stories, girls never win the girl—they are won. Well, Johanna will re-write the stories, and win John, through her writing.

But as Johanna’s own star rises, an unpleasant one-night stand she had with a stand-up comedian, Jerry Sharp, comes back to haunt in her in a series of unfortunate consequences. How can a girl deal with public sexual shaming? Especially when her new friend, the up-and-coming feminist rock icon Suzanne Banks, is Jimmy Cricketing her?

For anyone who has been a girl or known one, who has admired fame or judged it, and above all anyone who loves to laugh till their sides ache, How to Be Famous is a big-hearted, hilarious tale of fame and fortune-and all they entail.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Harper Collins
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Published on
Sep 23, 2014
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Pages
368
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ISBN
9780062335999
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Coming of Age
Fiction / Humorous / General
Fiction / Literary
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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Caitlin Moran
From the New York Times bestselling author of How to Be a Woman and Moranthology comes a collection of Caitlin Moran’s award-winning London Times columns that takes a clever, hilarious look at celebrities, society, and the wacky world we live in today—including three major new pieces exclusive to this book.

When Caitlin Moran sat down to choose her favorite pieces for her new book, she realized that they all shared a common theme—the same old problems and the same old ass-hats. Then she thought of the word ‘Moranifesto’, and she knew what she had to do…

Introducing every piece and weaving her writing together into a brilliant, seamless narrative—just as she did in Moranthology—Caitlin combines the best of her recent columns with lots of new writing unique to this book as she offers a characteristically fun and witty look at the news, celebrity culture, and society. Featuring strong and important pieces on poverty, the media, and class, Moranifesto also focuses on how socially engaged we’ve become as a society.

And of course, Caitlin is never afraid to address the big issues, such as Benedict Cumberbatch and duffel coats. Who else but Caitlin Moran—a true modern Renaissance woman—could deal with topics as pressing and diverse as the beauty of musicals, affordable housing, Daft Punk, and why the Internet is like a drunken toddler?

Covering everything from Hillary Clinton to UTIs, Caitlin’s manifesto is an engaging and mischievous rallying call for our times.

 

Graeme Simsion
Dean Koontz
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

With this darkly intriguing original e-short story, Dean Koontz sets the stage for his masterly new novel of mystery, suspense, and strange wonder—Innocence.
 
“The world is a machine that produces endless surprises and mysteries layered on mysteries.”
 
Addison Goodheart is a mystery even to himself. He was born in an isolated home surrounded by a deep forest, never known to his father, kept secret from everyone but his mother, who barely accepts him. She is haunted by private demons and keeps many secrets—none of which she dreads more than the young son who adores her.
 
Only in the woods, among the wildlife, is Addison truly welcome. Only there can he be at peace. Until the day he first knows terror, the day when his life changes radically and forever . . .
 
Acclaim for Dean Koontz
 
“A rarity among bestselling writers, Koontz continues to pursue new ways of telling stories, never content with repeating himself.”—Chicago Sun-Times
 
“Tumbling, hallucinogenic prose. ‘Serious’ writers . . . might do well to examine his technique.”—The New York Times Book Review
 
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“Characters and the search for meaning, exquisitely crafted, are the soul of [Koontz’s] work. . . . One of the master storytellers of this or any age.”—The Tampa Tribune
 
“A literary juggler.”—The Times (London)
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