Marisha Pessl: Hot & High-Rollin'
Book critics and the lit bloggers are all a-buzz over the huge cash advance Marisha Pessl was paid for her debut, Special Topics in Calamity Physics.
Despite what most agree is a disappointing, rocky start, the novel
blooms into an addictive, Nobokov-esqe (and god knows Word Up will sink
its teeth into anything Nabokovian--seriously, anything) thriller about a boarding school with a sinister past. Comparisons to Donna Tartt’s excellent The Secret History (another fave) are well-justified, and the Jonathan Safran Foer references (Nina hearts JSF,
but we've grown bored of his wunder-kid status--bring on the fresh
meat!) make sense, too. Pessl employs a series of (some might say
gimmicky) narrative tricks to spellbound readers, and she’s the latest
doe-eyed literary marvel to watch. Go see her tomorrow night at the Brookline Booksmith, 279 Harvard Ave, Brookline | 7 pm | free | 617.566.6660.
Now that our BFF Ash is wasting away, we feel a new girl-crush on Marisha coming on...
"Whoever coined the phrase 'everybody loves a winner' probably wasn’t
one. When the news came out that a distractingly pretty actress,
playwright and Barnard College graduate named Marisha Pessl, only 27,
had sold her first book (which she also illustrated)...for a
substantial sum, the pick-a-little, talk-a-little publishing blog
brigade went into conniptions."* Salon: "Special Topics,
for all its overeager freshman infelicities, is a real novel, one of
substance and breadth, with an arresting story and that rarest of
delights, a great ending."* The Globe: "Part
mystery, part suspense, and part psychological drama, this is, at its
heart, a book about relationships--both real and imagined--and the
desperate need to belong."