With “elements of The Bold Type, Mad Men, and The Devil Wears Prada” (Entetainment Weekly), a young woman navigates a tricky twenty-first-century career—and the trickier question of who she wants to be—in this savagely wise debut novel
Casey Pendergast is losing her way. Once a book-loving English major, Casey lands a job at a top ad agency that highly values her ability to tell a good story. Her best friend thinks she’s a sellout, but Casey tells herself that she’s just paying the bills—and she can’t help that she has champagne taste.
When her hard-to-please boss assigns her to a top-secret campaign that pairs literary authors with corporations hungry for upmarket cachet, Casey is both excited and skeptical. But as she crisscrosses America, wooing her former idols, she’s shocked at how quickly they compromise their integrity: A short-story writer leaves academia to craft campaigns for a plus-size clothing chain, a reclusive nature writer signs away her life’s work to a manufacturer of granola bars.
When she falls in love with one of her authors, Casey can no longer ignore her own nagging doubts about the human cost of her success. By the time the year’s biggest book festival rolls around in Las Vegas, it will take every ounce of Casey’s moxie to undo the damage—and, hopefully, save her own soul.
Told in an unforgettable voice, with razor-sharp observations about everything from feminism to pop culture to social media, A Lady’s Guide to Selling Out is the story of a young woman untangling the contradictions of our era and trying to escape the rat race—by any means necessary.
Advance praise for A Lady’s Guide to Selling Out
“Bitingly funny . . . [Sally] Franson’s snappy debut nimbly skewers the high-flying world of advertising and romance in the age of social media. . . . Franson’s irresistibly flawed heroine holds her own as she strives to find honesty, meaning, and even love in a demanding world, resulting in an addictive, escapist novel.”—Publishers Weekly
“A high-spirited heroine loses herself in a vortex of modern striving in this debut novel. . . . Come for the hilarious narration, stay for the whirlwind plot, luxuriate in the satirical gleam.”—Kirkus Reviews
“A wry, observant take on career success and ambition.”—New York Post
“A book lover is torn between a cushy gig and . . . well, her soul, basically.”—Cosmopolitan
About the author
Sally Franson grew up in Madison, Wisconsin, and was educated at Barnard College and the University of Minnesota. Her work has appeared in The Guardian, The Best American Travel Writing, and on NPR, among other places. She lives in Minneapolis.
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