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Random House Publishing Group, Fall 2018

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The Girls in the Picture
A Novel
By (author): Melanie Benjamin
9781101886823 Paperback, Trade English General Trade FICTION / Historical / General Jan 22, 2019
$23.00 CAD
Active 5.1 x 8 x 1 in 480 pages Bantam Dell Bantam
From the New York Times bestselling author of The Swans of Fifth Avenue and The Aviator’s Wife, a “rich exploration of two Hollywood friends who shaped the movies” (USA Today)—screenwriter Frances Marion and superstar Mary Pickford.

“Full of Old Hollywood glamour and true details about the pair’s historic careers…a captivating ode to a legendary bond.” Real Simple


It’s 1914, and twenty-five-year-old Frances Marion has left her (second) husband for the lure of Los Angeles, determined to live independently as an artist. But the word on everyone’s lips these days is “flickers”—the silent moving pictures enthralling theatergoers.

In this fledgling industry, Frances finds her true calling: writing stories for this wondrous new medium. She makes the acquaintance of actress Mary Pickford, whose golden curls and lively spirit have made her the world’s first superstar and “America’s Sweetheart.” The two ambitious young women hit it off instantly, sharing a passionate fever to create, to move audiences to a frenzy, to start a revolution.

But their ambitions are challenged by both the men they love and by the limitations imposed on their gender—and their astronomical success will come at a price Theirs is the story of a glittering new era—its myths and icons, its heartbreak and seduction…and its dazzling possibilities.

Story Locale: Hollywood, CA

Publication History: Bantam HC (1/18)

RANDOM HOUSE READER’S CIRCLE EDITION WITH BOOK CLUB GUIDE INSIDE: Book clubs will relish in Benjamin’s depiction of early Hollywood, and will want to discuss relevant topics such as industry sexism, fame, and female friendship.

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING AUTHOR of The Swans of Fifth Avenue and The Aviator’s Wife, which remained on the extended list for three months.

STAR-STUDDED CAST: Frances Marion wrote many of Hollywood’s most famous movies (Anna Christie, Dinner at Eight) and wrote for Shirley Temple, Rudolph Valentino, Spencer Tracy, Marlene Dietrich, and Bing Crosby. The novel features cameos from some of Hollywood’s greatest notables.

MORE TO COME: Benjamin’s next work of historical fiction, Mistress of the Ritz, set at the Hotel Ritz in Paris during WWII, will be published in summer 2019.

Melanie Benjamin is the New York Times bestselling author of The Girls in the Picture, The Swans of Fifth Avenue, The Aviator’s Wife, The Autobiography of Mrs. Tom Thumb, and Alice I Have Been. Benjamin lives in Chicago, where she is at work on her next historical novel.

Author Residence: Chicago, IL

Author Hometown: Indianapolis, IN

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“Full of Old Hollywood glamour and true details about the pair’s historic careers, The Girls in the Picture is a captivating ode to a legendary bond.”Real Simple

“In the era of #MeToo, Girls could not be more timely—or troubling—about the treatment of women in the workplace…. [Melanie] Benjamin portrays the affection and friction between Pickford and Marion with compassion and insight…. As Hollywood preps for an Oscar season riven with the sexual mistreatment scandal, the rest of us can settle in with this rich exploration of two Hollywood friends who shaped the movies.”USA Today

“A boffo production…One of the pleasures of The Girls in the Picture its no-males-necessary alliance of two determined females—#TimesUp before its time…. Inspiration is a rare and unexpected gift in a book filled with the fluff of Hollywood, but Benjamin provides it with The Girls in the Picture.”—NPR

“Benjamin immerses readers in the whirlwind excitement of Mary’s and Frances’ lives while portraying a rarely seen character, an early woman screenwriter, and deftly exploring the complexities of female friendship.”Booklist

“The heady, infectious energy of the fledgling film industry in Los Angeles is convincingly conveyed—and the loving but competitive friendship between these two women on the rise in a man’s world is a powerful source of both tension and relatability.”Publishers Weekly

“Profoundly resonant, The Girls in the Picture is at its core, an empowering and fascinating tale of sisterhood…. Deeply affecting…This book isn’t just timely, it’s necessary!”—Bryce Dallas Howard

“Melanie Benjamin, known for her living, breathing portraits of famous figures, takes on the Golden Age of Hollywood, and the friendship between icons Mary Pickford and screenwriter Frances Marion. As riveting as the latest blockbuster, this is a star-studded story of female friendships, creative sparks about to ignite, and the power of women. Dazzling.”—Caroline Leavitt, New York Times bestselling author of Pictures of You and Cruel Beautiful World

“Set at the dawn of Hollywood, The Girls in the Picture explores the friendship between renowned starlet Mary Pickford and screenwriter Frances Marion. With the artistry for which she has become renowned, Melanie Benjamin has simultaneously created an insightful tale of the relationship between writer and muse and a breathtaking view into Hollywood’s most glittering era.”—Pam Jenoff, New York Times bestselling author of The Orphan’s Tale

“A scintillating journey back in time to the gritty and glamorous days of old Hollywood…With elegant prose and delicious historical detail, Benjamin delivers a timely tale of female friendship—and the powerful duo who dared to dream beyond the narrow roles into which they’d been cast.”—Allison Pataki, New York Times bestselling author of Where the Light Falls and Sisi

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