From the # 1 New York Times bestselling author of Eat Pray Love and The Signature of All Things, a delicious novel of glamour, sex, and adventure, about a young woman discovering that you don’t have to be a good girl to be a good person.
Named a Most Anticipated Book of 2019 by Oprah.com, Real Simple, Buzzfeed,Cosmopolitan,GoodReads,PureWow,Vulture,The Millions and more.
“Life is both fleeting and dangerous, and there is no point in denying yourself pleasure, or being anything other than what you are.”
Beloved author Elizabeth Gilbert returns to fiction with a unique love story set in the New York City theater world during the 1940s. Told from the perspective of an older woman as she looks back on her youth with both pleasure and regret (but mostly pleasure), City of Girls explores themes of female sexuality and promiscuity, as well as the idiosyncrasies of true love.
In 1940, nineteen-year-old Vivian Morris has just been kicked out of Vassar College, owing to her lackluster freshman-year performance. Her affluent parents send her to Manhattan to live with her Aunt Peg, who owns a flamboyant, crumbling midtown theater called the Lily Playhouse. There Vivian is introduced to an entire cosmos of unconventional and charismatic characters, from the fun-chasing showgirls to a sexy male actor, a grand-dame actress, a lady-killer writer, and no-nonsense stage manager. But when Vivian makes a personal mistake that results in professional scandal, it turns her new world upside down in ways that it will take her years to fully understand. Ultimately, though, it leads her to a new understanding of the kind of life she craves - and the kind of freedom it takes to pursue it. It will also lead to the love of her life, a love that stands out from all the rest.
Now eighty-nine years old and telling her story at last, Vivian recalls how the events of those years altered the course of her life - and the gusto and autonomy with which she approached it. “At some point in a woman’s life, she just gets tired of being ashamed all the time,” she muses. “After that, she is free to become whoever she truly is.” Written with a powerful wisdom about human desire and connection, City of Girls is a love story like no other.
Story Locale: New York City
AUTHOR PLATFORM: Following her last bestselling nonfiction Big Magic, Gilbert’s return to fiction, her original form, is a reason to celebrate. This is the medium in which she first won reader’s hearts. And her brand is bigger and sturdier than ever.
THE PERFECT SUBJECT MATTER: This is the perfect novel from Elizabeth Gilbert - merging the messages of love and liberation from Eat, Pray, Love and Big Magic with her established talent for historical fiction. But it’s also the pleasurable escape that readers crave these days- smart, fun, and perfect for summer.
HISTORICAL FICTION WITH A CAPTIVATING VOICE AND A LIGHT HEART: Gilbert brings her trademark warm, funny, easy voice to the telling of this delightful story.
A STORY THAT FEELS LIKE ENTERTAINMENT, A CELEBRATION: No depressing WWII historical fiction, this is a story of fun and sex and love and friendship, a story in sexual appetite is celebrated not punished. Rules of Civility crossed with Sex and the City, set in 1940s New York.
STRONG FEMALE CHARACTER: Vivian Morris will recall Katey Kontent from Rules of Civility, a strong female narrator discovering New York City through electric new friendships.
CROSS PROMOTION: Simultaneous publication with the Riverhead hardcover. Also available as an unabridged audiobook from Penguin Audio.
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National author tour
Author Website: ElizabethGilbert.com
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