Former Greenpoint resident Jenny Hollowell returns to the neighborhood
to launch her new book, Everything Lovely, Effortless, Safe. Facebook RSVP encouraged.
“Birdie Baker, Hollowell’s magnetically flawed heroine, is both cruelly ambitious and deeply sympathetic, and the book’s febrile vision of sun-scorched Los Angeles makes me think of Play It As It Lays on every page.”—The Daily Beast
America’s obsession with Hollywood starlets is palpable. We eat up articles on actresses: their weight, their love lives, their next roles, their shoes. Today’s stars are better known to the public than any others in history. But we still don’t know the real story, the physical tolls of an actress’ life before she hits the glossy tabloid sheets. Living like Spartans – daily exercise, extreme dieting, and a regimen of anti-aging creams – they cling to their youth while waiting for that next one-line role to make them big.
In EVERYTHING LOVELY, EFFORTLESS, SAFE: a novel, author Jenny Hollowell exposes the ambition and will of body doubles and adult film extras. Birdie Baker, the novel’s magnetic anti-heroine, always dreamt of becoming someone other than the young wife of a pastor. At twenty-two she walked out on her husband and deeply evangelical parents, got on a bus to Los Angeles, and left behind her small-town, small-time life.
Nine years later, Birdie's life in Hollywood is far from golden, and nothing in the intervening years—the brutal auditions, the tawdry commercials—has brought her any closer to the transformation she craves. Caught between success and failure, haunted by guilt about a tragedy in her long-forsaken family, Birdie is at the brink of collapse when she meets Lewis, a beautiful but naive young actor with his own troubled history, whose self-destructive impulses run dangerously parallel to her own.
When her big chance finally comes, Birdie must reconcile the wide-eyed girl she once was with the jaded starlet she has become—and try to find herself and her future somewhere in between. Everything Lovely, Effortless, Safe is the story of a young woman's struggle to make her own way in the Technicolor land of make-believe.
About the Author:
Jenny Hollowell's short fiction has appeared in Glimmer Train, Scheherezade, and the anthology New Sudden Fiction. Her piece “A History of Everything, Including You” was named a distinguished story by Best American Short Stories. She received an MFA from the University of Virginia, where she was a Henry Hoyns Fellow in Fiction and recipient of the Balch Short Story Award. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and daughter. This is her first novel.