How to Be Famous by Caitlin Moran
A Novel

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Set in a time three decades before #MeToo, Dolly's ultra-sex-positive feminism is honed by her experiences with the evil Sharp and her connections with other women. Half feminist comedy, half romance novel—a genre whose time has come.
-Kirkus

Synopsis

A hilarious, heartfelt sequel to How to Build a Girl, the breakout novel from feminist sensation Caitlin Moran who the New York Times called, "rowdy and fearless . . . sloppy, big-hearted and alive in all the right ways."

You can’t have your best friend be famous if you’re not famous. It doesn’t work. You’re emotional pen-friends. You can send each other letters—but you’re not doing anything together. You live in different countries.

Johanna Morrigan (AKA Dolly Wilde) has it all: at eighteen, she lives in her own flat in London and writes for the coolest music magazine in Britain. But Johanna is miserable. Her best friend and man of her dreams John Kite has just made it big in 1994’s hot new BritPop scene. Suddenly John exists on another plane of reality: that of the Famouses.

Never one to sit on the sidelines, Johanna hatches a plan: she will Saint Paul his Corinthians, she will Jimmy his Pinocchio—she will write a monthly column, by way of a manual to the famous, analyzing fame, its power, its dangers, and its amusing aspects. In stories, girls never win the girl—they are won. Well, Johanna will re-write the stories, and win John, through her writing.

But as Johanna’s own star rises, an unpleasant one-night stand she had with a stand-up comedian, Jerry Sharp, comes back to haunt in her in a series of unfortunate consequences. How can a girl deal with public sexual shaming? Especially when her new friend, the up-and-coming feminist rock icon Suzanne Banks, is Jimmy Cricketing her?

For anyone who has been a girl or known one, who has admired fame or judged it, and above all anyone who loves to laugh till their sides ache, How to Be Famous is a big-hearted, hilarious tale of fame and fortune-and all they entail.

 

About Caitlin Moran

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Caitlin Moran had literally no friends in 1990, and so had plenty of time to write her first novel, The Chronicles of Narmo, at the age of fifteen. At sixteen she joined music weekly, Melody Maker, and at eighteen hosted the pop show Naked City. Following this precocious start she then put in eighteen solid years as a columnist on the Times-both as a television critic and also in the most-read part of the paper, the satirical celebrity column "Celebrity Watch"-winning the British Press Awards' Columnist of The Year award in 2010 and Critic and Interviewer of the Year in 2011. The eldest of eight children, Caitlin read lots of books about feminism-mainly in an attempt to be able to prove to her brother, Eddie, that she was scientifically better than him. Caitlin isn't really her name. She was christened 'Catherine.' But she saw 'Caitlin' in a Jilly Cooper novel when she was thirteen and thought it looked exciting. That's why she pronounces it incorrectly: 'Catlin.' It causes trouble for everyone.
 
Published July 3, 2018 by Harper. 352 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Humor & Entertainment, Romance. Fiction
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Critic reviews for How to Be Famous
All: 3 | Positive: 3 | Negative: 0

Kirkus

Good
on May 01 2018

Set in a time three decades before #MeToo, Dolly's ultra-sex-positive feminism is honed by her experiences with the evil Sharp and her connections with other women. Half feminist comedy, half romance novel—a genre whose time has come.

Read Full Review of How to Be Famous: A Novel | See more reviews from Kirkus

Guardian

Good
Reviewed by Kitty Empire on Jun 28 2018

As in her previous volume, Moran is at pains to emphasise the fictionality of her work. But How to Be Famous rewrites a familiar near-past heroically, dispensing justice and leaving a rosy, satisfied afterglow.

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NPR

Above average
Reviewed by Annalisa Quinn on Jul 05 2018

Despite its treatment of sexual exploitation, How To Be Famous is not dark — it is a joyous, yelping novel about learning to love things without apology or irony. In service to this, metaphors careen all over the book like untrained animals, shedding and slobbering on the carpets. Nuance is lost, repetition is constant...

Read Full Review of How to Be Famous: A Novel | See more reviews from NPR
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