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...Read 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.
Elizabeth Gilbert is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Big Magic, Eat Pray Love, and several other internationally bestselling books of fiction and nonfiction.
Gilbert began her career writing for Harper's Bazaar, Spin, the New York Times Magazine, and GQ, and was a three-time finalist for the National Magazine Award. Her story collection Pilgrims was a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway Award; The Last American Man was a finalist for both the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award. The follow-up memoir Committed became an instant #1 New York Times bestseller.
Her novel, The Signature of All Things, was named a Best Book of 2013 by the New York Times, O Magazine, the Washington Post, the Chicago Tribune, and the New Yorker. Gilbert's short fiction has appeared in Esquire, Story, One Story, and the Paris Review. Her new novel, City of Girls, will be released June 2019.
"[Elizabeth Gilbert's] witty dialogue sparkles like diamonds in champagne." - The Washington Post
"Of course, one could -- and many will -- read it on the beach, but consider instead staying up late to turn pages after midnight, next to an open window on a hot summer night, fireworks flaring in the distance. That experience would mirror this novel's story and its style: intimate and richly sensual, razzle-dazzle with a hint of danger." - USA Today
"A light, fizzy summer cocktail with a strikingly complex finish... Gilbert's book is as deliciously refreshing as a fizzy summer drink, but truly, in its second half, it's also more like fine wine, thoughtfully crafted to be savored for its benefits." - The Boston Globe
"A glamorous, sexy novel." - PopSugar
"Packed with showgirls, playboys, and sex--lots of it...being a 'good girl' isn't all it's cracked up to be." - InStyle