Shopgirl by Steve Martin
A Novella

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One of our country's most acclaimed and beloved entertainers, Steve Martin has written a novella that is unexpectedly perceptive about relationships and life. Martin is profoundly wise when it comes to the inner workings of the human heart.

Mirabelle is the "shopgirl" of the title, a young woman, beautiful in a wallflowerish kind of way, who works behind the glove counter at Neiman Marcus "selling things that nobody buys anymore . . ."

Slightly lost, slightly off-kilter, very shy, Mirabelle charms because of all that she is not: not glamorous, not aggressive, not self-aggrandizing. Still there is something about her that is irresistible.

Mirabelle captures the attention of Ray Porter, a wealthy businessman almost twice her age. As they tentatively embark on a relationship, they both struggle to decipher the language of love--with consequences that are both comic and heartbreaking. Filled with the kind of witty, discerning observations that have brought Steve Martin critical success, Shopgirl is a work of disarming tenderness.

About Steve Martin

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Steve Martin was born on August 14, 1945 in Waco, Texas. He studied at Long Beach State College. He has acted in such films as The Jerk; Roxanne; Planes, Trains and Automobiles; Bowfinger; Father of the Bride; Cheaper by the Dozen; and Shopgirl, which was adapted from a novel he wrote. He has won an Emmy for his comedy writing and Grammies for his comedy albums. He has made several appearances on The Tonight Show and Saturday Night Live. He has written several books including Shopgirl, Cruel Shoes, Pure Drivel, The Pleasure of My Company, and An Object of Beauty. He also wrote a play entitled Picasso at the Lapin Agile and a memoir entitled Born Standing Up. During the 1990s, he wrote various pieces for The New Yorker. In 2002, he adapted the Carl Sternheim play The Underpants, which ran Off-Broadway at Classic Stage Company and in 2008, co-wrote and produced Traitor.
Published July 1, 2001 by Hachette Books. 130 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Humor & Entertainment, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Romance. Fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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He knows that Ray Porter, the Seattle millionaire who’s wooing Mirabelle, doesn’t intend to make any commitment to her, even though Mirabelle understands the conversation in which he seeks to establish his polite wariness in exactly the opposite terms.

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Publishers Weekly

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Martin's slight plot follows Mirabelle's search for love--or at least romance and companionship--with middle-aged Ray Porter, a womanizing Seattle millionaire who may, or may not, have hidden redeeming qualities.

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BC Books

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Steve Martin wrote the screenplay for the 2005 film Shopgirl, based on his short novel of the same title.

Oct 15 2006 | Read Full Review of Shopgirl: A Novella

Book Reporter

Steve Martin is a veteran observer of human nature and SHOPGIRL, his first novel, is a human nature observer's dream: Mirabelle is an artist, but mostly she's the "shopgirl" of our story, selling gloves at Neiman Marcus in L.A.

Jan 23 2011 | Read Full Review of Shopgirl: A Novella

AV Club

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Shopgirl is concerned with the way power imbalances affect and corrupt romantic relationships, both in terms of economic power (Martin is rich, Danes is barely scraping by) and emotional power (Danes is more emotionally invested in the relationship, which comes off as a form of weakness).

Oct 19 2005 | Read Full Review of Shopgirl: A Novella

AV Club

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One of Steve Martin's greatest gifts as an actor is that while he often chooses to play dumb, he doesn't necessarily look dumb.

Mar 29 2002 | Read Full Review of Shopgirl: A Novella

Entertainment Weekly

In Shopgirl, a shy, chemically depressed, artistically inclined saleswoman at Neiman Marcus dates a dork, then a millionaire, then returns to the dork, whose business success has helped him evolve from ''ape to man.'' Martin fans will miss the crackling cynicism of Pure Drivel, though Shopgi...

Sep 29 2000 | Read Full Review of Shopgirl: A Novella

Common Sense Media

Still, Mirabelle rejects Jeremy in favor of Ray, and the younger man takes off on a road trip with a rock band, along the way coming to understand how he didn't treat Mirabelle with the proper respect and interest.

Apr 23 2006 | Read Full Review of Shopgirl: A Novella


That's partly due to the note-perfect performance by Danes and partly because, by the time the film reaches this scene, we've come to know and hope for the best for these characters.

Oct 31 2005 | Read Full Review of Shopgirl: A Novella


salesclerk waiting to ring up some romance, may surprise those who think of Martin as the auteur of Three Amigos and The Man with Two Brains: But in a style more Saturday Evening Post than Saturday night at the multiplex, the author tells us all we need to know about the software tycoon Mirabelle...

Oct 16 2000 | Read Full Review of Shopgirl: A Novella

Chicago Tribune

Ray Porter - Steve Martin Mirabelle - Claire Danes Jeremy - Jason Schwartzman Lisa Cramer - Bridgette Wilson-Sampras

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Chicago Tribune

Written by and co-starring Steve Martin, adapted from Martin's 2000 novella, "Shopgirl" is a bookend to Martin's earlier, more antic L.A.

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New York Magazine

For one thing, Martin is willing to play Ray as a cad, confiding early on to his therapist that he’s not in love with Mirabelle even though she’s clearly gaga over him.

Oct 16 2005 | Read Full Review of Shopgirl: A Novella


Steve Martin the author is well served by Martin the multihyphenate in "Shopgirl," a smartly reconstituted yet largely faithful adaptation of his precisely crafted novella about the mixed signals, misinterpretations and melancholy life lessons that define bittersweet romance.

Sep 11 2005 | Read Full Review of Shopgirl: A Novella

Star Pulse

Summary:Steve Martin wrote the screenplay and served as co-producer for this screen adaptation of his short novel, which takes a witty but bittersweet look at a young woman and the two men involved with her.

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