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Cruel Beautiful World: A Novel Hardcover – October 4, 2016




Worth Getting in Bed For? Yes.

I really like how this story of different kinds of Love integrated the history of the sixties. The Manson murders and trial, the Kent State shootings, the Cambodia invasion all contribute to the sense of time and place. These newsmakers carried from the larger city that the characters Iris, Charlotte and Lucy are from to the rural setting of a farm, where Lucy ends up. This story is about different kinds of Love, motherly, fatherly, sisterly, forbidden love. I especially liked the story of Iris and her love stories early in life and then later in her eighties. There are unreliable narrators and unreliable feelings that culminate in a climax you may see coming. But that doesn’t detract from the strength of the narrative and character development.

Copy provided by the Publisher and NetGalley




I’m the New York Times Bestselling and USA Today bestselling author of Is This Tomorrow and Pictures of You, and the award-winning author of eight other novels. Pictures of You was a Costco “Pennie’s Pick,” a San Francisco Chronicle Lit Pick, and it was also on many Best of 2011 lists, including the San Francisco Chronicle, the Providence Journal, Bookmarks Magazine, and Kirkus Reviews, which also put the novel on their Top Five Novels about Family and Love list. My 10th novel IS THIS TOMORROW, about a missing child in a 1950s suburb, was an Indie Pick, A Jewish Book Club pick, a Best Book of the Year from January Magazine, and also a New York Times bestseller and long-listed for the Maine Readers Prize. CRUEL BEAUTIFUL WORLD, set in the times when the sixties veered dangerously into the 70s is out October 4, 2016 from Algonquin Books. I’ve been writing since I was in grade school (I was the one who made up books and then wrote book reports for them.) I always knew I wanted to be a writer, though being a screenwriter came in a close second. I live for books and the movies and I teach writing at UCLA and Stanford online, have private clients, and I’m a book critic for People, the San Francisco Chronicle and the Boston Globe. I’m deliriously happily married to the writer Jeff Tamarkin (his book, Got A Revolution: The Turbulent Flight of Jefferson Airplane, was one of the top music books of the year, and ShellShocked) and we have a teenaged actor son.

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Thank you!